The January transfer window is now well underway, and we have already seen some big moves made already.
Perhaps the most high-profile move of the window so far was that of Philippe Coutinho moving to Aston Villa on loan from Barcelona. There may be no money involved in the way of a fee, but Villa do reportedly have a €40 million future fee clause that they can activate if the Brazilian’s time at the club is a success.
Newcastle have also made the first transfer under their new ownership. Kieran Trippier arrived at the club from Atletico Madrid for £12 million last Friday.
However, excluding loans, no club inside the Premier League top eight has yet completed any incoming transfers. That begs the question as to whether those clubs are simply saving their cash in wait for the right opportunity, or if the funds are there to spend.
Which Premier League clubs can spend money on transfers in January?
Data from the Daily Mail, which football finance expert Kieran Maguire compiled in November, has revealed the reported sums that each Premier League club has to spend on transfers in January. Of course, the caveat is that the spending has to be done within Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.
Let’s take a look at the five teams that can spend the most this window – and the players that they could purchase with their high degrees of wealth:
5. Arsenal (£201 million)
After a summer transfer window where, as per Transfermarkt, they spent almost £150 million on new players, Arsenal may have been expected to have a quiet January.
But Mikel Arteta’s side are on the lookout for incoming talent. Reports in Brazil claim they have bid for young midfield talent Danilo, whilst Denis Zakaria and Dusan Vlahovic have also been linked with moves.
The money, it appears, is there to use. Since moving from Highbury to the Emirates Stadium in 2006, the Gunners haven’t traditionally made too many big-money moves in the market. But with a reported £201 million available, they could spend big again this month.
4. Chelsea (£241 million)
Thomas Tuchel‘s side could potentially spend an eye-watering £241 million on incoming transfers during the January window.
The European champions are likely to do little business in the window, given their strong position in the league table. However, a severe knee injury to Ben Chilwell may necessitate the need for cover in the left wing-back role.
According to Telegraph journalist Matt Law, the club are “reluctant” to consider anything other than a loan to fill that position. Alternatively, they could recall Emerson Palmieri from his temporary arrangement at Lyon. Whatever happens, the money is there for Chelsea to spend.
3. Manchester United (£243 million)
Manchester United fans will read the above figure and begin to cry out to their club’s hierarchy.
The Red Devils have been in desperately poor form this season. That’s despite a summer transfer window that saw them splash out over £120 million on Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo.
The return of Ronaldo was heralded as the grand reunion. The hero returning to the club that sparked his rise to the top. Whilst there have been some memorable moments, particularly in the Champions League, the Portuguese legend hasn’t spearheaded United’s push up the Premier League table.
Varane has made just 12 appearances due to injury, whilst Sancho hasn’t fully adapted to his new club.
With the Red Devils seventh in the Premier League, it is clear that reinforcements are needed. They have been heavily linked with RB Leipzig midfielder Amadou Haidara and West Ham’s Declan Rice.
The money is there to spend – now United fans will be hoping for action.
2. Liverpool (£273 million)
With a reported budget of £273 million, the market may tempt Liverpool into completing some January business of their own.
The Reds’ squad is currently depleted due to a mixture of injuries and absentees. Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita are presently playing at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have been reportedly interested in adding Porto winger Luis Diaz to their attacking ranks. But according to Sport Witness (via the Liverpool Echo), the Colombian’s release clause stands at £67 million, and that Porto are unlikely to sell him for less. The same report also claims that Tottenham Hotspur submitted a £50 million bid for the 24-year-old.
1. Tottenham Hotspur (£400 million)
Antonio Conte’s side can comfortably afford such a bid. That is because, according to the data, they have £400 million to spend in January.
Spurs have spent almost £300 million on new players in the last three seasons, as per Transfermarkt.
That figure could soon be about to increase. The club have been heavily linked with a move for Wolves winger Adama Traore. And according to The Guardian, Conte has asked Spurs for a centre-back and right-sided player.
Spurs certainly have the funds to do that if the data is to be believed. It is just a question of how much they spend and which areas they prioritise.
Where do other teams rank on the list?
Fans will have noticed the lack of presence of Newcastle United in the top five.
Despite their new wealthy ownership, the Magpies can only spend £166 million this window. In saying ‘only’ £166 million, that’s compared to other top teams. There is still enough money for four or five quality signings. So there’s plenty in the bank.
One place ahead of them in sixth is relegation-threatened Burnley. As per Transfermarkt, Sean Dyche’s side spent £28.4 million in the summer window.
Throughout their spell in the Premier League, the Clarets have lived within their means when it comes to transfers. But to stay in the top flight, Burnley may need to splash out on some big signings in January.
Meanwhile, current Premier League leaders Manchester City have the 12th highest budget of any team in the division. That potentially means any move for Harry Kane is off the table for now, unless there are outgoings at the Etihad Stadium.
The three clubs bringing up the rear are Southampton, Aston Villa and Everton. The latter two sides have been active so far, with Villa completing the Coutinho deal and Everton bringing in two players. Everton, however, are the only team in the division predicted to have a negative budget before the window opened.
Since the data was compiled, Southampton have been the subject of a takeover by telecommunications business Sport Republic, headed by Dragan Solak. According to the data, there is only £37 million in the bank for incomings to begin with, but that could soon be about to change.
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