The summer transfer window officially opens in England on Friday as Premier League clubs prepare to sprinkle cash again as out-of-contract stars dominate the headlines on the futures segment.
England clubs will have about 12 weeks to strengthen their teams until 1 September, although one of the biggest moves has already been announced, with Earling Holland leaving Borussia Dortmund for Manchester City.
The general headlines of the Premier League parties will be those who flex their financial muscles, with broadcast revenue exceeding £ 10 billion ($ 12.5bn) by 2025 for a three-year cycle due to a huge increase in revenue from foreign rights deals.
With financial rewards only increasing, English clubs will again spend more than £ 1 billion on mass transfers, as they have done in the last six summer windows.
Holland’s move would cost City a modest sum of £ 51 million (મિ 60 million, $ 63 million) due to the release clause in its contract at Dortmund.
Norway’s most expensive new arrival in England’s top flight is unlikely – Liverpool and Manchester United are being linked with a move by Uruguay striker Darwin Nunez, valued at 100 100 million by Benfica.
Yet there are frequent transfers outside of the biggest clubs in the Premier League which confirms how powerful the elite of England have become.
The prime example is Aston Villa, who finished 14th in the just-concluded season but have announced the signing of Diego Carlos of Sevilla and Boubacar Camara from Marseille.
Brazil defender Diego Carlos will move on for 26million while midfielder Camara – who has just joined France – is a free agent with the expiration of his contract at Marseille.
The two have been ruled out of next season’s Champions League football move to Villa Park.
Kamara’s move, meanwhile, is indicative of something else.
This is an age of player power, with more and more big stars happy to let their contracts expire – thus the huge transfer fees paid between clubs are likely to go into the players’ pockets. Sign-on bonus.
Kylian Mbappe let his contract at Paris Saint-Germain expire before he chose to stay in the French capital instead of signing for Real Madrid.
Paul Pogba left Manchester United for the second time in his career and, after moving from Juventus to Old Trafford in 2016 for a world-record fee, the French midfielder is now being instructed to return to Turin as a free agent.
Paulo Diabala is on his way out of Juventus and is expected to join Inter Milan, while Osman Dembele could also leave Barcelona for free.
Others like Sadio Mane at Liverpool and Robert Lewandowski at Bayern Munich are ready to move on and they know their clubs must be sold now if they do not want to lose for free when their contracts expire next year.
Dembele has been linked with a move to PSG, which will be busy in the market again with the transfer window opening in France on Friday.
The Ligue 1 champions dominate the headlines with the acquisition of Lionel Messi following the termination of his contract at Barcelona last year.
Less glamorous new arrivals are expected this time around at the Park des Princes, where the main priority was to keep Mbappe.
After two years of tightening the belt due to the epidemic and the collapse of lucrative broadcasting deals with MediaPro, the outlook for French clubs in general is much brighter now.
Private equity firm CVC Capital Partners, which previously bought a stake in La Liga, is investing 1.5 billion euros in a 13% stake in Ligue 1’s newly formed trading company.
This means an immediate significant cash injection for clubs, at a time when increasingly foreign investors are attracted to French teams.
However, apart from PSG, the Ligue 1 club will still struggle to compete with him in the Bundesliga, Serie A and La Liga, where the transfer window officially opens on 1 July.