Spending during summer transfer window set to break £500m record
Last minute race to sign players before deadline expected to be lead by Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United
Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United will lead one final splurge in the two days of the transfer window that will take summer spending by Premier League clubs beyond the previous record of £500 million. That was set as long ago as 2008, the year Manchester City were taken over by the Abu Dhabi Group.
Arsène Wenger's side, who have been unable to secure any of their main targets this summer, are weighing up late moves for the Real Madrid midfielder Mesut Ozil and his Argentinian team-mate Angel di Maria.
The London club also still hope to persuade Newcastle United to part with another midfielder, Yohan Cabaye, even though most observers feel that they need strengthening most in attack and defence.
Manchester United's need is clearly more midfield support for Michael Carrick, but they have been frustrated all summer in their attempts to secure some.
The two main targets in that area are Ander Herrera, the Spain Under-21 international of Athletic Bilbao, and Marouane Fellaini from David Moyes's former club Everton. Roma have said that a third option for United, Daniele de Rossi, will not be leaving the Italian capital.
Moyes has upset his old employers with two low combined bids for Fellaini and left-back Leighton Baines, and may have to concentrate on one or the other. To sign Herrera he will need to equal if not break United's record of £30.75m, paid for Dimitar Berbatov in that heady summer of 2008. The Spaniard is believed to have a release clause of something close to that amount.
Liverpool have already spent significantly but their manager, Brendan Rodgers, plans to add Mamadou Sakho, the French international centre-half, who is completing the formalities for is £18m move from Paris St- Germain, and another defender, Tiago Ilori of Sporting Lisbon, who is valued at £7m. The Merseyside club also hope to pip four other Premier League teams by securing Victor Moses on loan from Chelsea, who may, though, prefer that he goes to a lower- profile club.
The income figures for Premier League clubs overall will be boosted when Tottenham finally sell Gareth Bale with Real Madrid for about £86m, recovering most of their net outlay on seven new players.
They could recoup another £5m if Emmanuel Adebayor moves to the German Champions' League contestants Schalke, who yesterday sold their Finnish striker Teemu Pukki to Celtic.
Five years on, a spokesman for the Sports Business Group at Deloitte says: "With several large deals looking close to completion and a number of clubs still expected to do significant business, we will likely see the £500m gross record broken by Tuesday morning."
Uefa's president, Michel Platini, has called the modern level of fees "robbery", but Deloitte's say that the English figures should be seen in context of the lucrative new broadcast deals coming in this season.
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