Are Premier League clubs set for quiet January window?

26 January 2024 0 By Total Football News

Chelsea's Enzo Fernandez points while on the pitchChelsea’s January 2023 deadline-day capture of 22-year-old Enzo Fernandez for £107m smashed the British transfer record – previously the £100m Manchester City paid for Jack Grealish in 2021

Has the Premier League spending bubble burst?

The past three transfer windows – January 2023 and the summers of 2022 and 2023 – have each set new Premier League spending records, with £100m players being traded and Chelsea dominating the headlines.

But with one week to go until transfer deadline day on Thursday, 1 February, just 12 players have been signed by Premier League clubs, with seven permanent transfers and five loan deals, while disclosed fees amount to £45.4m.

At the same stage of the winter transfer window in 2023, there had been 26 signings made by Premier League clubs, of which 21 deals were permanent.

Of the fees that were disclosed, top-flight clubs spent at least £352.2m, before add-ons, by this stage last year, with seven days to go.

Top-flight clubs would go on to spend a record-breaking £815m in last season’s January window. That included Chelsea’s £107m deal for Argentina midfielder Enzo Fernandez, from Benfica.

More than £275m was spent on deadline day alone, while, according to financial services firm Deloitte, the total spending of Premier League clubs last January was 90% more than the previous winter record of £430m, set in 2018.

That January window followed two record-breaking summer windows, with £2.3bn spent in 2023 surpassing the £1.9bn spent in July and August 2022.

Are Premier League financial charges a factor?

Charges hanging over Nottingham Forest and Everton at present – for alleged breaches of the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules (PSR) in their 2022-23 finances – may have sharpened minds.

No club will want to risk a 10-point deduction like Everton are appealing against for a previous breach in their accounts up to 2021-22.

BBC Sport’s Alex Howell reports that Chelsea, with a £1bn outlay since the Clearlake ownership group took over the club in May 2022, are more likely to sell in this window than buy to balance the books.

While Newcastle, despite being one of the richest clubs in the world through their Saudi Public Investment Fund backers, posted a £73m loss for the 2022-23 season and players such as Kieran Trippier, Callum Wilson and Miguel Almiron are linked with moves away from Tyneside this month.

Premier League’s January moves

West Ham’s loan signing of Kalvin Phillips from Manchester City is one of the only major Premier League deals.

Sheffield United made the first move of the window on 5 January with the loan signing of Villarreal’s Chile striker Ben Brereton Diaz.

Tottenham have made two of the more eye-catching deals of the window so far, bringing in 21-year-old Romania defender Radu Dragusin from Italian side Genoa for £25m and Germany striker Timo Werner on loan from RB Leipzig until the end of the season – the 27-year-old’s move includes an option to be made permanent in the summer.

Both Burnley and Brentford brought in a player on loan from a Premier League rival, with Ivory Coast striker David Datro Fofana making the switch from Chelsea to Turf Moor and Tottenham’s Spanish defender Sergio Reguilon ending a short spell at Manchester United to fill in for the Bees’ injured left-back Rico Henry.

Reading vice-captain Tom Holmes, 23, made the leap from League One to Luton Town for an undisclosed fee, though the defender has returned to the Royals on loan.

Brighton, meanwhile, signed two teenage prospects – Romania winger Adrian Mazilu, 18, completed his move from FCV Farul after originally agreeing a deal last summer, although he subsequently joined Vitesse Arnhem on loan, while 19-year-old Argentine winger/full-back Valentin Barco arrived at Amex Stadium from Boca Juniors on a four-and-a-half-year contract for a fee of £7.8m.

Aston Villa signed Serb defender Kosta Nedeljkovic from Red Star Belgrade for an undisclosed fee, but the 18-year-old will remain with Red Star until the end of the season.

Manchester City have signed Argentina Under-17 midfielder Claudio Echeverri from River Plate in a similar deal, and Sheffield United have brought in Republic of Ireland Under-21 defender Sam Curtis from St Patrick’s Athletic.