The world-record signing by Paris Saint-Germain of Neymar from Barcelona for €222m dominated the headlines. Picture: REUTERS
The world-record signing by Paris Saint-Germain of Neymar from Barcelona for €222m dominated the headlines. Picture: REUTERS
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Paris — In the close-season transfer window $4.71bn was spent worldwide, over three-quarters of which were from the top-five leagues in Europe, Fifa announced on Thursday.

The world-record signing by Paris Saint-Germain of Neymar from Barcelona for €222m dominated the headlines, but many other Europe clubs also broke their transfer records.

"Between June 1 and September 1, 7,590 international transfers were completed worldwide," Fifa said.

"Global spending reached $4.71bn, meaning clubs spent almost as much during those three months as they had in the whole of 2016 [$4.79 bn]."

PSG also signed teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe from Monaco on a season-long loan, with an option to make him the second-most expensive player yet for €180m.

Largely down to PSG, the biggest increase in international transfer spending was in France, with its clubs spending $604.1m, an increase of 250% on the previous European summer.

Five-time European champions Bayern Munich of Germany and Spain’s Barcelona also broke their club records, for Corentin Tolisso and Ousmane Dembele respectively.

Fifa’s report read that clubs in Europe’s top five leagues spent $3.67bn, a new transfer-window record.

"Once again, clubs from the Big 5 [England, Spain, France, Germany and Italy] took centre stage, completing 21.2% of the total incoming transfers and spending 77.9% of the total global spend," football’s world governing body said.

The country whose clubs spent the most money on players was England, with $1.4bn, more than double that of any other country.

The chaotic nature of the transfer window has triggered calls for reforms of the system, with English Premier League clubs voting to end their window before the start of the 2018-19 season.

AFP

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