Man City and United have LOST most across Europe in transfer market

Manchester City and United have LOST the most money across Europe in the transfer market since 2016 with Everton and Aston Villa above Premier League rivals Chelsea and Arsenal… and Real Madrid have cost themselves LESS than newly-promoted Leeds

  • New data shows how much teams have lost in the transfer market since 2016
  • It shows money spent, money earned through sales and the total profit or loss
  • Man City have posted the biggest loss, spending £554m more than they earned
  • Rivals Man United follow them in second in the table, with a deficit of £515m
  • Barcelona, PSG, Inter, Everton and Aston Villa also find themselves in the top 10 

Manchester City and Manchester United have posted the highest transfer deficits in Europe over the last 10 transfer windows, new data shows – while Everton and Aston Villa have racked up bigger losses than both Chelsea and Arsenal.

New figures released by the CIES Football Observatory put into perspective the huge outlay on new talent from across Europe’s top five leagues from the past 10 transfer windows – or since the summer window of 2016.

The data shows just how lavish some clubs’ spending is and how some, like City and United, are able to hoover up the world’s best talent without having to sell players to balance the books. 

Manchester City and Manchester United have racked up the biggest transfer deficits in Europe

It also outlined the Premier League’s dominance in terms of spending, with newly-promoted Leeds United running up a bigger bill than the might of Real Madrid.

In City’s case, they were found to have spent just over £883million on new talent, including the likes of Ruben Dias, Ferran Torres, Rodri, Leroy Sane, John Stones, Ilkay Gundogan, Aymeric Laporte, Bernardo Silva, Ederson and Riyad Mahrez.

But that, coupled with sales of £329m, means they have a deficit of £554m.

City’s huge financial backing from their Abu-Dhabi ownership has transformed the club’s fortunes, turning them into regular Premier League and Champions League trophy contenders.

But even with Pep Guardiola at the helm and their ability to throw huge amounts of money at squad issues, they have been unable to get across the line in Europe.

Their neighbours have spent nearly as much on players in the same period with United forking out £730m. That includes deals for the likes of Paul Pogba, Alexis Sanchez, Romelu Lukaku, Nemanja Matic, Harry Maguire, Bruno Fernandes, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Fred. 

Barcelona (L) are third in the standings with Paris Saint-Germain (R) fourth ahead of Inter Milan

United have managed to recoup even less than City, however. The Red Devils have sold players for a total of £215m, giving them a total transfer market loss of £515m.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is starting to reap the rewards of their spending now but the club’s transfer strategy has changed in recent years to focus on younger talent while homegrown stars Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford and Scott McTominay are also key players.

Barcelona come in at third place on the standings with a deficit of £413m, another reminder of the dire financial situation the Spanish giants find themselves in. 

The Catalans have spent the highest amount on incomings (just over £1bn), signing the likes of Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele, Malcom, Arthur, Frenkie de Jong and Arturo Vidal but have brought £614m back into the club via sales.

Barcelona have debts of around €720m (£636m) and recent details of Lionel Messi’s £492m contract show the work they have got on their hands to reverse their financial turmoil.

Chelsea splashed out big this summer for Frank Lampard, buying Timo Werner from RB Leipzig

Arsenal brought in Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid as Mikel Arteta looks to rebuild

It is unsurprising to see Paris Saint-Germain in fourth place in the table with a total deficit of £400m. They signed Neymar in an astronomical transfer in 2017 and Kylian Mbappe 12 months later but the wealth of their Qatari owners means they do not need to buy to sell.

Inter Milan (-£338m) are fifth in the standings but then, surprisingly, it is two of the teams outside the Premier League’s ‘Big Six’ who are next up. Everton (-£303m) are next up after their huge outlay in the transfer market in recent seasons.

Ronald Koeman spent big at Goodison Park in the summer of 2017 when Lukaku left for Manchester United and the Toffees have spent the following windows trying to make amends.

Aston Villa, only promoted back to the Premier League at the start of the 2019-20 campaign, are next up with a deficit of £297m but that is largely because they have received just £60m in transfer fees in the last 10 windows.

Other standout details from the list show Everton and Villa have bigger deficits than both Chelsea (-£270m) and Arsenal (-£262m). 

Remarkably, Leeds (R) have managed to amass a bigger deficit than Real Madrid since 2016

Premier League champions Liverpool, meanwhile, have a total deficit of £113m. That is superb considering the success Jurgen Klopp’s men have had over the past three seasons but perhaps the outline the greater investment needed to keep pace with Europe’s leading clubs.

But perhaps the most surprising figure is that Leeds, who ended their Premier League exile last summer, somehow have a bigger deficit (-£100m) than Real Madrid (-£80m).

Real have considerably lowered their spending in recent seasons with the end of the Galactico era but the huge fees they’ve managed to bring into the club have boosted the bank balance.

No Premier League team managed to hold onto a positive transfer balance during the time period. The team with the smallest deficit was Southampton (-£43m), ahead of West Brom (-£64m) and Newcastle United (-£67M).

Some teams across Europe managed to post positive balances though with the highest in Italy, Germany and Spain coming from Atalanta (£116m), Hoffenheim (£76m) and Valencia (£58m).

It was two French Ligue 1 clubs that boast the best financial records in the transfer market, however. Lille posted a profit of £167m and Lyon were just behind with £132m. 

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