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All you need to know about deadline day



Argentina’s Enzo Fernandez joined Chelsea from Benfica in the January 2023 window for a British record £107m

The transfer window shuts at 23:00 GMT on Thursday and January spending levels are significantly down on previous seasons.

You can follow every deadline day move and rumour across the BBC on Thursday, with live text updates from 07:00 and analysis throughout the day on radio, online and our social media accounts.

As of midnight on Wednesday, 31 January, only 17 players had been signed by Premier League clubs in January, with 10 permanent transfers, seven loan deals and disclosed fees of about £50m.

It is a far cry from the past three transfer windows – January 2023 and the summers of 2022 and 2023 – which each set Premier League spending records.

At the same point last year, on the eve of deadline day, there had been 38 transfers worth about £550m – 10 times this year’s amount.

Top-flight clubs went on to spend a record-breaking £843m in last season’s January window. That included Chelsea’s record £107m deal for Argentina midfielder Enzo Fernandez from Benfica on deadline day.

So what is causing the lack of movement in the transfer market and will it pick up before the window closes?

“In an acronym, PSR – Profit and Sustainability Rules, or what used to be called Financial Fair Play (FFP),” Professor Rob Wilson, football finance expert at Sheffield Hallam University, told BBC Sport.

“The charges hanging over Nottingham Forest and Everton for alleged breaches of the Premier League’s PSR in their 2022-23 finances have put the wind up other clubs.

“Clubs probably thought they could stray from the guidelines a little bit and only get a small punishment. Now there is a real nervousness.”

No team will want to risk a 10-point deduction such as Everton’s for a breach in their accounts up to 2021-22.

Under the Premier League’s PSR, clubs are only allowed to make losses of £105m over a rolling three-year period.

But it is not only PSR that is having an effect.

“There is no real domino effect,” said Wilson. “The super clubs in Europe have not spent much. If a top-six club spend £50m on a back-up striker, the selling club has that money to spend.

“Because there is no money in the market, clubs are having to look abroad to sell. But Saudi Arabia has been much quieter and Premier League wages are so much higher compared to other leagues in Europe that players are less incentivised to move.”

Money spent in each window

Why so many loans?

This winter window has seen several high-profile loan deals, with Tottenham’s Eric Dier joining Bayern Munich, Manchester United’s Jadon Sancho returning to Borussia Dortmund and Manchester City’s Kalvin Phillips moving to West Ham.

“Loan deals are a function of PSR and also the higher wages in England,” said Wilson.

“Players are being loaned out with the parent club having to pay 30%, 40%, even 50% of the player’s wages. Jadon Sancho is a good example of that.”

So are the days of £100m transfers over or will Premier League clubs return to paying eye-watering fees in the summer?

“One working theory is clubs will have a spell of increased spending followed by two years of restraint,” said Wilson.

“This would be typical behaviour of a Championship club, where the finance rules are stricter.”

Most expensive signings for Premier League clubs every season

Record fee spent each window

What deals have been done so far?

Tottenham have been one of the busier clubs, signing Romania defender Radu Dragusin from Genoa for £25m and ex-Chelsea forward Timo Werner on loan from RB Leipzig.

They also loaned defender Dier to Bayern, while forward Ivan Perisic moved to Hajduk Split and defender Sergio Reguilon joined Brentford on loan.

As well as Sancho’s Dortmund move, Manchester United midfielders Donny van de Beek and Hannibal Mejbri left on loan deals to Eintracht Frankfurt and Sevilla respectively.

Chelsea defender Ian Maatsen joined Dortmund on loan, while striker David Datro Fofana moved to Burnley on loan.

Brighton signed versatile Argentina Under-23 international Valentin Barco from Boca Juniors for £8.9m.

Bournemouth’s David Brooks has joined Championship side Southampton on loan.

Manchester City, who have let midfielder Phillips join West Ham on loan, have signed Argentina Under-17 midfielder Claudio Echeverri from River Plate for £12.5m, although he will stay with River for the rest of 2024.

Liverpool let midfielder Fabio Carvalho join Hull on loan, while Wolves have brought in Noha Lemina on loan from Paris St-Germain, and Borussia Dortmund’s Giovanni Reyna has moved to Nottingham Forest – also on loan.

Who could be on the move on deadline day?

As quiet as this window has been, deadline day often brings a flurry of activity.

Chelsea are among the clubs reported to be up against it in terms of PSR, increasing the prospect of a high-profile sale or two to balance the books – especially homegrown players who generate the most profit.

England midfielder Conor Gallagher has been heavily linked with a move to Tottenham, while striker Armando Broja could join Fulham.

It could be one in, one out at West Ham, who are reportedly interested in Al-Ittihad forward Jota, and Maxwel Cornet potentially set to join Nottingham Forest on loan.

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