Clubs avoiding big-money transfer deals

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The Independent Football

Premier League clubs' spending on players this season is heading for a four-year low.

Unless any big surprise deals are done, spending on transfers by English top-flight clubs is expected to total around £330million this summer - down 25% on last year and the lowest sum since 2006.

Manchester City will account for more one third of the total spent - they have splashed out £126million - and the club's Brazilian forward Robinho is expected to sign at AC Milan today - he is in Italy undergoing a medical.

Tottenham, meanwhile, have signed Croatian goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa on a season-long loan from Spartak Moscow.

Birmingham have allowed striker Marcus Bent to join midlands rivals Wolves on a four-month loan deal.

Blackpool have signed 19-year-old winger Matt Phillips from Wycombe for an initial fee of £325,000. The England Under-19 player could eventually cost the Seasiders close to £700,000.

The biggest signing in terms of money could be Sunderland's purchase of Asamoah Gyan from Rennes. The Ghana striker has arrived in the north-east but a deal has yet to be agreed.

Birmingham are also pursuing former Arsenal midfielder Alexander Hleb, who is currently out of favour at Barcelona.

The Premier League's overall summer transfer spending peaked at £500million in 2008, and was down to £450million last year. In 2006, the figure was £263million.