Summer transfer spending hit £3.5bn, close to total 2016 outlay - report

Clubs spent almost as much during the summer transfer window as they did during the whole of the previous year, analysis from FIFA has revealed.

In its Big 5 Transfer Window Analysis report, world football's governing body revealed that $4.71 billion (£3.5bn) was spent on players, with English clubs spending more than double those in any other country.

The report shows that, between June 1 and Sept. 1, 7,590 international transfers were completed with the money spent only just short of the $4.79bn (£3.61bn) that changed hands in the whole of 2016.

The so-called Big Five countries -- England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain -- accounted for 21.2 percent of the total incoming transfers and spent 77.9 percent of the global total.

The report said: "Spending by the Big Five this summer was almost three times what it was in the same period in 2012.

"The steady increase in the number of transfers can be attributed to the expanding number of clubs active in the international transfer market."

It said an increasing number of clubs were spending on transfers, with the average level of expenditure continuing to increase.

The report showed that Spanish clubs received the most money in transfer fees -- almost $752.3 million (£567m) -- with the world-record €222m ($265.76m) sale of Barcelona's Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain accounting for a large chunk of that.

France recorded the largest increase worldwide in international transfer spending, 250 percent up from last summer.