Frantic last-minute purchases in the Premier League are threatening to make this the first £1bn transfer window.
The top 20 clubs have spent close to £780m and the late flurry could another 20 per cent to that figure. This beats the £630m outlay for the whole of last season.
Manchester United are leading the charge with close to a £150m splurge after their slow start to the season. Two draws and a win from their first three games, not to mention a 4-0 thrashing by MK Dons in the Capital One Cup, has meant Louis van Gaal has had to speed up his rebuilding plans.
The Old Trafford club smashed the British transfer record spending £60m to bring Angel di Maria from Real Madrid in the hope that he can turn their season around. They spent the same amount again equally on Luke Shaw from Southampton and Ander Herrera from Athletic Bilbao.
Chelsea’s Jose Mourinho brought in Diego Costa for £32m from Atletico Madrid and Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona for £30m. He also snapped up Filipe Luis from Atletico for £16m and went bargain hunting to pick up QPR’s Loic Remy for £8m.
With Olivier Giroud out for up to three months Arsenal are on the hunt for extra firepower up front. After bringing in Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona for £30m, Arsene Wenger is said to be evaluating his options, with one eye on Manchester United’s Danny Wellbeck, who is said to be surplus to requirements at Old Trafford.
Everton smashed their transfer record to pay £28m for Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku while the champions Manchester City have spent more than £50m during this session.
The rise in the amount of cash the clubs are willing to splash has been put down to an exceptional World Cup, which featured a record amount of goals and is the best shop window for talent.
In addition clubs are getting more money from TV receipts. Daniel Jones from the Sports Business Group at Deloitte says in 2013-2014 clubs received £25m more, on average, than the season before. The larger clubs had bigger paydays. Liverpool’s TV money went up from £43m to £97.5m, Chelsea received £55m more while Spurs had a rise of almost £30m.
Another reason is the push for a top-four Champions League spot. After last season’s tense finish the competition is even fiercer with Manchester United, Everton and Tottenham Hotspur vying for a place along with Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal.