It’s not even January yet but the gossip, wheeling and dealing has already begun.
Chelsea have begun talks for Demba Ba, Liverpool have all but wrapped up a deal for Daniel Sturridge – all the while in the background the rumour mill has begun.
The leading teams from around Europe have the chance to add to their squad mid-way through the season and improve their chances of reaching their goal – but it doesn’t always end that way.
But the problem with the January transfer window is that clubs aren’t as willing to part with their cash as they are in the summer (although Liverpool and Chelsea proved to be an exception to that rule back in 2011) and generally speaking the rumours bandied about rarely lead to anything concrete. In fact, the £925 million spent in January since the introduction of the transfer window in 2003, £3.685 billion has been spent in the summer.
But it is time to put that notion to the test. Who is the biggest spender in the January transfer window since it was introduced in 2003? And just how well have they spent their money? All statistics supplied by the BBC.
1. Chelsea – January spend since 2003: £123 million (Ave. January spend per Premier League season: £12.3m)
It is little surprise that Chelsea are the biggest January spenders – over half of their entire January spend went in one window as they landed Fernando Torres and David Luiz in 2011.
Their average spend per January transfer window is £12.3 million, while their average league finish in that time is 2.4.
Chelsea spent fairly big last January in bringing in the likes of Gary Cahill, Kevin de Bruyne and Lucas Piazon, spending over £20 million – although that didn’t exactly help their final league position as they came home in 6th
If you take Luiz and Torres out of the equation, Chelsea do not tend to spend much in January, and few expect many new arrivals at Stamford Bridge this time either, Demba Ba aside.
2. Manchester City - £109 million (Ave. January spend per Premier League season: £18.17m)
Another familiar face makes it into second spot, with Manchester City splashing £109 million in January since 2003.
What’s interesting to not about City is that although Chelsea have spent more than them in the winter window, a higher proportion of their transfer spending across the season is used up in January - £18.7 million per window to be precise.
That obviously hints at City being more willing to spend half way through the season, with their biggest deal being Edin Dzeko back in 2010/11 season.
They didn’t exactly spend big in the January of their title winning season however, bringing in David Pizarro and Costel Pantillimon for a grand total of about £2 million.
3. Tottenham, £91 million (Ave. January spend per Premier League season: £9.1m)
Tottenham have earned themselves a reputation as a club willing to do business right up until the last minute in any given window – but last time round Spurs fans were shaking their heads in disbelief as only Ryan Nelsen and Louis Saha rocked up at White Hart Lane.
Their winter deals historically haven’t been the best either, with Younes Kaboul and Jermain Defoe the only two players of note still with the club after signing on the dotted line in January, and even then both players were known quantities having played for the club before.
Spurs fans will be hoping for a few big names this time round to help their push for a top four place.
4. Liverpool, £81 million (Ave. January spend per Premier League season: £8.1m)
Another club who have a history of spending big on one player when they need to, although their record is mixed.
The fact that Luis Suarez arrived in the winter window is proof enough that value is there for those who look for it, although the signing of Andy Carroll proved to be the polar opposite.
On average Liverpool spend around £9.1 million per January window – although the arrival of Daniel Sturridge for around £12 million this time should trump that in one fell swoop.
5. Aston Villa, £47 million (Ave. January spend per Premier League season: £4.67m)
Perhaps a surprise entry at number five, although behind Liverpool the amount spent by clubs falls away drastically.
Darren Bent is Villa’s most high profile winter arrival, although he has found first team football hard to come by and could be leaving Villa Park soon.
Paul Lambert nay wish to spend this time to help his side ease away from the relegation zone, although on average they only spend around £4.7 million per January.
Other notable clubs
Manchester United – January spend: £36 million; Ave. January spend per Premier League season: £3.6 million
Arsenal – January spend: £36 million; Ave. January spend per Premier League season: £3.6 million