London, United Kingdom | AFP | Premier League spending looks certain to shatter all previous records before the current transfer window closes as England’s superpowers reload in an increasingly frenzied arms race.
Fuelled by lucrative television contracts, currently worth around £8.3 billion ($10.8bn, 9.3bn euros) and unprecedented revenue streams at home and overseas, the 20 Premier League teams have spent like never before in the weeks since the summer transfer window opened.
Already close to £800 million has been paid for new players, with the single window record spend of £1.2 billion well within reach with over a month before the market closes.
Determined to make amends for last season’s surprisingly lacklustre debut campaign in the Premier League, which saw Manchester City finish 15 points behind champions Chelsea, Pep Guardiola has played a key role in driving the market sky high.
City boss Guardiola, backed by his club’s Abu Dhabi-based billionaire owners, has embarked on an historically lavish spending spree, including paying £52 million for Monaco’s Benjamin Mendy in a world record deal for a defender on Monday.
Mendy’s arrival came just days after the £26.5 million capture of Danilo from Real Madrid.
England right-back Kyle Walker cost City £50 million from Tottenham as Guardiola took just 10 days to spend £128 million on three full-backs.
A £42 million offer persuaded Monaco to sell Bernardo Silva to City, while Douglas Luiz moved to Eastlands from Vasco Da Gama for £10 million.
Throw in Guardiola’s £34 million swoop for Benfica goalkeeper Ederson and the Spaniard has already splashed out £215 million.
That eclipsed the record spending total for a British club in a single transfer period, racing past the £168 million mark which, not surprisingly, was also set by Guardiola last season.
City seem certain to shatter the £221.5 million forked out by Real Madrid in the summer of 2009 – which stands as the biggest outlay in one transfer window.
Guardiola would love to land £50 million-rated Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez, who is refusing to extend a contract that expires in 12 months’ time, by the time the Premier League begins on August 11.