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English clubs dominated 2021 transfer spending with £1bn outlay

English clubs outspent their closest rivals in Italy by more than £500m.

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Deals such as Chelsea’s signing of Romelu Lukaku, pictured, from Inter Milan contributed to English clubs spending over £1billion on international transfers in 2021 (John Walton/PA)

Deals such as Chelsea’s signing of Romelu Lukaku, pictured, from Inter Milan contributed to English clubs spending over £1billion on international transfers in 2021 (John Walton/PA)

Deals such as Chelsea’s signing of Romelu Lukaku, pictured, from Inter Milan contributed to English clubs spending over £1billion on international transfers in 2021 (John Walton/PA)

English clubs spent over £1billion on international transfers in 2021 despite the financial uncertainties created by the Covid-19 pandemic, new data published by FIFA shows.

The amount spent was recorded in the world governing body’s figures as 1.386bn US dollars, equating to just over £1billion and dwarfing the second-highest spending country, Italy, by more than £500million.

Premier League clubs, chiefly boosted by world-beating broadcasting deals, were the buyers in seven of the 10 biggest transfers in 2021.

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Raphael Varane, left, and Jadon Sancho saw Manchester United represented twice in the top 10 (Francesco Scaccianoce/Martin Rickett/PA)

Raphael Varane, left, and Jadon Sancho saw Manchester United represented twice in the top 10 (Francesco Scaccianoce/Martin Rickett/PA)

Raphael Varane, left, and Jadon Sancho saw Manchester United represented twice in the top 10 (Francesco Scaccianoce/Martin Rickett/PA)

These included Belgium forward Romelu Lukaku’s move to Chelsea from Inter Milan, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane’s transfers to Manchester United from Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid respectively, and Ibrahima Konate’s arrival at Liverpool from RB Leipzig.

England also topped the league for receipts from outgoing international transfers, generating 548.8m US dollars (just under £400m).

Ten of the top 20 biggest-spending clubs in Europe were English. Manchester United topped the chart with Chelsea second, Arsenal fifth, Tottenham sixth and Manchester City eighth.

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The Premier League’s bottom club Norwich were next (14th), followed by Brighton (15th), Aston Villa (18th), Leicester (19th) and Liverpool (20th).


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