Transfer news: Late flurry of signings lights up deadline day

Everton signing Mina’s three World Cup goals

Everton, Fulham and Leicester all made big-money signings as the earliest transfer deadline in Premier League history came to life late in the day.

However, the amount spent in the window by Premier League clubs fell for the first time in eight years, to £1.2bn.

Tottenham – who did not sign any players this summer – and Manchester United made no signings on 9 August.

The deadline was moved from 31 August to the day before the Premier League season starts after a vote by clubs.

Yerry Mina’s £27m move to Everton from Barcelona was the day’s big transfer.

The deadline also applied to English Football League clubs – although they can still sign free agents and loan players until 31 August.

Premier League and EFL clubs voted – although not unanimously – to close the transfer market earlier this season to avoid disruption to the opening weeks of the season.

However, it was only introduced in England, with Spanish, German, French and Scottish clubs able to sign players until the end of the month.

Italy has a deadline of Friday, 17 August – the day before Serie A starts.

Players could still leave the Premier League – with Chelsea’s Eden Hazard a reported target for Spanish giants Real Madrid, although the Blues would then not be able to sign a replacement.

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The story of transfer deadline day

As well as the earlier-than-usual date, the deadline also closed earlier in the day – 17:00 BST compared to the usual 23:00.

It looked as if this was going to be the quietest final day since the window was introduced in 2003 – with only eight signings confirmed by Premier League clubs before 17:00.

The highest-profile deal at that stage was midfielder Mateo Kovacic joining Chelsea on loan from Real Madrid – with goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois going the other way permanently.

But clubs had another two hours after the deadline to finalise paperwork – during which Everton signed Colombia defender Mina and midfielder Andre Gomes on loan from Barcelona – having signed free agent Bernard earlier in the day.

Fulham announced five players, all after the deadline – Marseille midfielder Andre-Frank Anguissa in a £22.3m deal, Bristol City left-back Joe Bryan for £6m and Sergio Rico, Luciano Vietto and Timothy Fosu-Mensah on loan. That made them the first promoted team ever to spend over £100m in the summer.

And Leicester City confirmed the signing of Freiburg and Turkey defender Caglar Soyuncu, in a deal thought to be worth up to £19m. Earlier on, they had bought defender Filip Benkovic from Dinamo Zagreb for a reported £13m.

The top 10 Premier League signings of the transfer window (based on initial transfer fees)

Some other moves included Danny Ings joining Southampton from Liverpool on a loan which will become permanent next summer, Jordan Ayew moving to Crystal Palace from Swansea for a season and West Ham signing Arsenal striker Lucas Perez and Fiorentina midfielder Carlos Sanchez.

The losers of deadline day?

Tottenham will be competitive – Pochettino

Six clubs did not sign anybody on Thursday.

Tottenham are reported to be the first Premier League club to not sign a single player in a summer transfer window, although boss Mauricio Pochettino said he was not disappointed, with only two youngsters leaving the club.

“It’s difficult to understand for people that Tottenham didn’t sign or sell a player, but sometimes in football you need to behave differently and we’re happy with our squad,” he said.

Manchester United only signed three players all summer – all by early July. But they did also try to sign a centre-back and manager Jose Mourinho said on Sunday they faced a “difficult season” if they could not sign anyone else.

They had been linked with Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld, Leicester’s Harry Maguire and Bayern Munich’s Jerome Boateng over the summer.

And the Red Devils made a dramatic late approach for Atletico Madrid defender Diego Godin – but he is now expected to sign a new deal with the Spanish club.

Spurs were one of 14 clubs to vote for the earlier deadline last September, with United voting against it.

Arsenal and Liverpool were among the other clubs not to sign anybody – but they were not expected to, having each made several signings earlier this summer.

Record spent on signings from abroad

Figures released by Deloitte say summer spending dropped by £200m from last year’s record of £1.4bn – and deadline-day spending was only just over half the 2017 total – £110m, down from £210m.

But Premier League clubs spent a record £880m to bring in players from foreign leagues – compared to £770m last summer. That was 72% of all money spent by English top-flight clubs – last year’s figure was 54%.

Tim Bridge, director in the sports business group at Deloitte, said: “Premier League clubs’ gross player transfer expenditure of £1.2bn continues to demonstrate the sheer purchasing power of the most commercially successful football league in the world.

“With Premier League clubs’ aggregate revenues forecast to reach £5bn in 2018-19, clubs can well afford to significantly invest in on-pitch talent in the quest for both success and survival.”

Some other findings included:

  • The next highest spending league is Serie A, with a reported gross spend of about £910m (including £99m Cristiano Ronaldo), followed by La Liga (£680m), the Bundesliga (£400m) and Ligue 1 (£350m) – but none of their windows have closed yet
  • Championship clubs spent £155m on transfers – a decrease from the £195m spent last summer
  • The Premier League’s highest-spending clubs were Liverpool (£165m), Chelsea (£120m), Fulham (£105m) and Leicester City (£100m)
  • Only three clubs received more transfer fees than they spent – Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur and Watford

Why was this summer not as busy as previous years?

The flurry of late deals took deadline day above last year’s total of 17 transfers – to 25, the highest amount since 2014 – but the total number of transfers in the window fell for the fifth year in a row.

Until the late rush, it had appeared it was going to the the quietest summer deadline day in Premier League history.

Football finance expert Rob Wilson of Sheffield Hallam University said: “Clubs invested heavily last year when we saw almost £1.5bn being spent. Without a new TV deal that increases the amount of cash available, this window was always due to plateau.

“That, plus excessive fees being quoted, has probably restricted what some clubs are prepared to pay. Manchester United, for example, have spent much more modestly and would normally contribute to the overall total. I suspect that is due to clubs increasing their prices as the world’s richest club came knocking and United simply refused to be held to ransom.”

Wilson thinks Neymar’s £200m world record move from Barcelona to Paris St-Germain last summer helped change the transfer market.

“It does seem to have shifted the market up, especially after Philippe Coutinho moved for £140m+ from Liverpool to Barcelona. It’s meant fees in general have essentially doubled from what would have been expected before the last TV deal. It’s indicative of fewer signings but higher fees too.”

The rise in prices is backed up by the transfer fees previously paid for this summer’s top 10 Premier League signings, with none of them costing more than £13m when they were last signed.

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