Premier League leads the way as global transfer spending record broken

Moises Caicedo was a big-money arrival at Chelsea (John Walton/PA)
Moises Caicedo was a big-money arrival at Chelsea (John Walton/PA)

The global transfer spending record has been broken this summer, according to figures from Transfermarkt.

Clubs worldwide have spent a combined £6.56billion on 1,617 players so far, surpassing the previous high for a single window of £6.51bn set in 2019.

Here, the PA news agency breaks down the record-breaking total.

Highest spending leagues

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

The Premier League is comfortably the highest-spending division in 2023-24, with almost £2.1bn having been invested in 269 players.

The Saudi Pro League is second on the list with a combined total of £727million, ahead of Italy’s Serie A (£683m), Germany’s Bundesliga (£598m), France’s Ligue 1 (£597m) and Spain’s LaLiga (£342m).

The English top flight has moved further clear of rival leagues compared with 2019, with Premier League spending almost doubling in value and now accounting for 32 per cent of the global total, up from 20 per cent four years ago.

In contrast, the remaining four of Europe’s ‘big five’ leagues have all spent less than they did in 2019, albeit with more than 48 hours of the window still to go.

Those declines have been offset by a huge rise in Saudi Pro League spending, from less than 1 per cent of the total in 2019 to more than 11 per cent in 2023.

The increase in Saudi Arabia’s market share has come at the expense of LaLiga clubs in particular, whose spending is worth just five per cent of the worldwide total this summer – compared with 18 per cent four years ago.

Highest spending clubs

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

Chelsea have spent £359m on new players this summer, the most of any club worldwide according to Transfermarkt.

The Blues are top of the spending charts for the third consecutive window under Todd Boehly’s ownership, with their total transfer outlay closing in on £1bn since last summer’s takeover.

Unlike previous windows, however, Saudi Arabia’s Al-Hilal (£304m) are the second-highest spending club, ahead of Arsenal (£202m), PSG (£180m), Tottenham (£166m) and Manchester United (£165m).

The remaining three clubs owned by the gulf state’s Public Investment Fund – Al-Ahli (£157m), Al-Nassr (£142m) and Al-Ittihad (£65m) – also feature in the top 25 highest spenders so far this season.

Most expensive transfers

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

Despite the rise in Saudi Pro League spending, all three nine-figure transfers this summer have involved Premier League clubs.

Moises Caicedo, Harry Kane and Declan Rice all moved for an initial £100m, with Brighton, Tottenham and West Ham extracting club-record fees for their prized assets.

Caicedo and Rice stayed in the English top flight by moving to Chelsea and Arsenal respectively, while Kane joined 11-time reigning Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich in search of silverware.

At an initial £88.5m, Jude Bellingham’s switch from Borussia Dortmund to Real Madrid is fourth on the list, while Manchester City’s Josko Gvardiol and Al-Hilal’s Neymar are joint-fifth having joined for £77.6m from RB Leipzig and PSG respectively.