Premier League clubs spent a massive £490 million (€618m) in the summer transfer window, an increase of £4m (€6.3m) from the same period last year, according to analysis by business advisory firm Deloitte.
A frenetic final day of transfer activity saw a number of big-money deals completed before the window closed, with Manchester City signing Javi Garcia for £18m (€22.7m), Fulham bringing in Dimitar Berbatov and Tottenham snapping up both Hugo Lloris and Clint Dempsey.
While this summer’s spending did not reach the record of £500m (€630.8m) spent in 2008, it came very close, with the newly-promoted clubs also not afraid to heavily invest, as evidenced by Southampton smashing their club record with the £11m (€15m) capture of Gaston Ramirez from Bologna.
The analysis also revealed that Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal have all exceeded £30m (€37.8m) in gross transfer spending, while a busy final day saw Premier League clubs conclude deals totalling around £110m (€138.8m), approximately £9m (€12.6m) more than the equivalent deadline day figure for summer 2011.
Overseas, Spanish clubs kept relatively quiet, with Real Madrid making one big signing in Luka Modric, while Barcelona spent €14m on Jordi Alba, and another €19m (£15m) on Alex Song.
The chasing pack, meanwhile, spent relatively modest sums; Valencia’s spending was dictated by how much they received, while Atletico Madrid were more focused on keeping hold of Radamel Falcao.
Malaga, experiencing financial troubles, took Roque Santa Cruz on loan and let go of Santi Cazorla and Salomon Rondon.
The rest of La Liga barely spent any money whatsoever, as has become the norm in recent seasons.
Juventus were the biggest spenders in Serie A as they secured the services of players such as Mauricio Isla, Kwadwo Asamoah and Sebastian Giovinco, while Inter did not hesitate to spend big on Alvaro Pereira, Samir Handanovic and Rodrigo Palacio.
AC Milan were pillaged by mainland Europe’s biggest spenders, while Fiorentina made some impressive purchases, largely financed by the late sale of Matija Nastasic to Manchester City.
On the whole, it is estimated -not by Deloitte, however – that the 20 clubs earned more money than they spent transfer-wise.
Elsewhere, Bayern Munich paid a record fee of €40m to lure Javi Martinez away from Athletic Bilbao, while champions Borussia Dortmund splashed the money they received from Manchester United for Shinji Kagawa on Marco Reus.
Hamburg splashed out on Rafael van der Vaart to boost their spending, but it was a similiar story for the rest of the Bundesliga.
The remaining 15 clubs spent no more than an estimated €7m net on transfers, with the biggest spenders, Bayer Leverkusen (around €5.6m net) and Borussia Monchengladbach (around €6.5m net), benefiting from Champions League income.
However, the unrivalled champions when it comes to spending in mainland Europe are Ligue 1 powerhouse Paris Saint-Germain.
Les Parisiens parted with over €100m in order to sign Ezequiel Lavezzi, Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side apart, however, French spending was extremely low; Lille, Olympique de Marseille and Olympique Lyonnais all posted estimated transfer-related profits of at least €10m, while no club – PSG aside – had a higher net spend than €5m.