Fifa Report Shows English Clubs Frittered Away Top Amount in Record Transfer Year

Football clubs across the world splashed out a record £4.49 billion on players during 2017 with English teams again the biggest spenders, FIFA's Global Transfer Market Report gas revealed.

The total paid out was 33 percent more than in 2016, as English clubs led the way with a net spend of £696 million on squad improvement.

Deals such as Romelu Lukaku's £75 million move from Everton to Manchester United and Alvaro Morata's £60 million switch from Real Madrid to Chelsea put English teams at the top of the list.

But those individual deals were eclipsed by Brazilian forward Neymar's move from Barcelona to Paris St Germain in a world-record transfer worth £195.4 million.

The fee was over double the previous record, which took France midfielder Paul Pogba to Manchester United from Juventus for £89.5 million.

"Spending growth is driven by a relatively small group of clubs," the report said, with over two-thirds of the total amount spent by 50 clubs in 13 different countries.

Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku
Paul Pogba, left, and Romelu Lukaku at Old Trafford, Manchester, England, January 5. Pogba and Lukaku were two of Manchester United's biggest signings in history. Shaun Botterill/Getty

The average transfer fee for a player in the top 50 most-expensive moves was $48.4 million, up from $35.2 million in 2016. The report shows that only 15.8 percent of transfers involved fees being paid from one club to another.

Fees paid to agents also increased significantly. English clubs forked out a reported $125.7 million on intermediary payments and $447 million was handed over worldwide—up from $387 million in 2016.

Brazil was the country most involved in international transfers, with 1,755 of their players switching teams in 2017.

Two hundred and fifty four Brazilian clubs conducted international transfer deals with Germany (143), England (132), Argentina (111) and Spain (98) making up the top five.

Spanish clubs received the most money in transfer fees ($840.4 million), but Portuguese ones posted the highest net receipts of $707.5 million.