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A dejected David De Gea of Manchester United looks at the ball in his net as Leonardo Ulloa of Leicester City scores his team’s opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Manchester United at The King Power Stadium on September 21, 2014
With soccer’s Premier League season about to begin, clubs are battling to sign the players they need to ensure a successful campaign.
For the first time since the introduction of the transfer window in the early 2000’s, Premier League clubs will no longer be able to sign players after the first fixture this Friday evening, although squads can be trimmed as long as they are offloaded to other countries and uncontracted players will also still be available to recruit in the meantime.
This summer has seen a world record goalkeeper fee of £67 million ($86.7 million) paid by Liverpool for Alisson Becker and Manchester City sign Algerian forward Riyad Mahrez for £60 million. But what price are the Premier League’s newest clubs prepared to pay to hopefully stay in the division?
Wolverhampton Wanderers, Cardiff City and Fulham all achieved promotion from The Championship last season and have all been part of the top league in recent years, only to have Premier League status lost because of relegation.
Fulham has so far spent the most money, nearly £70 million looking to strengthen in specific areas. Its most sizeable outlay so far has been on Ivorian midfielder Jean Michael Seri from French club Nice for £25 million.
Added to that, the West London club has permanently retained the services of influential Serbian striker Alexandr Mitrovic, whose goals for the club on loan last season prompted Fulham to pay Newcastle an estimated £22 million.
“Our business is definitely not done,” Fulham Head Coach Slavisa Jokanovic hinted after his team’s pre-season draw with Spanish side Celta Vigo. “I’m not the first who complains about transfer business. I’m not complaining. We need some additions. We need backups in some positions.” Such is the desire to have a squad that can cope with the demands of a nine-month league campaign.
However, having the biggest outlay, doesn’t always guarantee success in what is the world’s richest league. In three of the past five seasons, the promoted team to have spent the most money has found itself still relegated the following year.