Value of football transfers hit 5-year low in 2021 – FIFA

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The value of football transfers globally in 2021 was the lowest for five years as the coronavirus pandemic took its toll on clubs’ finances for a second year, according to Fifa’s “Global Transfer Report”.

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Spending on transfer fees was $4.86 billion, a fall of 13.6 per cent compared to 2020 and a decrease of 33.8 per cent compared to the record levels of 2019.

While the biggest transfer of 2021, Romelu Lukaku’s £97.5 million move from Inter Milan to Chelsea, caught the eye, overall transfer spending fell despite the number of transactions increasing.

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A total of 18 068 transfers were registered, against 17 190 in 2020, a rise of five per cent.

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The top ten transfers alone generated almost 15 per cent of the total spending while the vast majority of moves – nearly 88 per cent – involved free transfers, suggesting cash-strapped clubs were looking for bargains.

“While all clubs needed to freshen up their squads (with the overall number of transfers at a similar level to the 2019 peak), clubs were not as eager to pay transfer fees,” the report said.

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French players were the nationality that accounted for the highest amount of spending, with $643 million, displacing Brazil from the top spot.

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