Man Utd overpaid on new signings by a whopping £210MILLION over last decade

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Man United overpaid on new signings by a whopping £210MILLION over the last decade – more than any other top club in Europe – with Juventus, PSG, Aston Villa and Real Madrid also stung by transfer market inflation

  • Study by the CIES Football Observatory shows how leading European clubs are paying over the odds for star players in inflated transfer market
  • Man United have spent £1.4bn on 33 players with a true value of around £1.2bn
  • Old Trafford club have signed likes of Paul Pogba, Antony and Harry Maguire
  • Juventus have also over-paid by about £208m and PSG by £142m since 2012
  • Premier League clubs feature prominently in the top 20 of the ranking 
  • Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Wolves have made the biggest gains in value 

Manchester United have paid £210million over true market value for new signings over the past decade – more than any other club in Europe’s big five leagues.

The Old Trafford club have spent a total of £1.4billion on 33 players since 2012 when they were only worth a combined £1.19bn, according to a study by the CIES Football Observatory.

Their signings include the £89m purchase of Paul Pogba, then a world record fee, the £85m spent on Antony this summer and £80m to buy Harry Maguire.

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Manchester United – who broke the world transfer record to buy Paul Pogba for £89m in 2016 – have overpaid by £210million on the true market value of players since 2012

The £85m Brazilian winger Antony was the latest big-money addition to the Old Trafford squad

The £85m Brazilian winger Antony was the latest big-money addition to the Old Trafford squad

Jadon Sancho, Romelu Lukaku, Angel Di Maria, Casemiro, Bruno Fernandes, Anthony Martial, Fred and Lisandro Martinez have also cost United in excess of £50m during that time frame.

The research also found that Juventus had paid £208m over the odds on 36 new players and Paris Saint-Germain overpaid by £142m on 31.

In an indication that selling clubs inflate transfer fees for Premier League buyers, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Arsenal and Everton also feature in the top 10.

Villa, who have splashed out on the likes of Emiliano Buendia, Ollie Watkins and Leon Baily in recent years, overpaid by £130m on what CIES calculated to be the true value of the players signed.

Juventus, who paid £100m for Cristiano Ronaldo in 2018, have overpaid by around £208m

Juventus, who paid £100m for Cristiano Ronaldo in 2018, have overpaid by around £208m

Paris Saint-Germain, who smashed the transfer record to sign Neymar for £198m, were found to have spent £142m more than market value over the last decade

Paris Saint-Germain, who smashed the transfer record to sign Neymar for £198m, were found to have spent £142m more than market value over the last decade

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CLUBS IN TOP FIVE EUROPEAN LEAGUES TO SPEND OVER MARKET VALUE 
Ranking Club Transfer fee spent (£) True market value (£) Overspend Players
1 Manchester United 1.4bn 1.19bn 210m 33
2 Juventus 903m 695m 208m 36
3 Paris Saint-Germain 886m 744m 142m 31
4 Aston Villa 506m 376m 130m 44
5 Real Madrid 730m 601m 129m 19
6 Chelsea 1.16bn 1.04bn 120m 36
7 Arsenal 860m 746m 114m 33
8 Rennes 323m 223m 100m 33
9 Everton 655m 570m 85m 29
10 Borussia Dortmund 482m 415m 67m 28
Source: CIES Football Observatory         

Chelsea ranked sixth, just behind Real Madrid, having spent £1.16bn on 36 signings who were more accurately worth £1.04bn, an apparent overspend of just under £120m.

They include the £97.5m signing of Romelu Lukaku in 2021, only for the Belgian striker to return on loan to Inter Milan a year later, plus the likes of Wesley Fofana, Kai Havertz and Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Arsenal, just below Chelsea, were found to have spent £114m over the odds on 33 players since 2012, with Everton’s overspend on market estimation coming in at £85m.

Chelsea spent almost £100m on Romelu Lukaku but offloaded him after just one season

Chelsea spent almost £100m on Romelu Lukaku but offloaded him after just one season

Aston Villa, who have signed the likes of Emiliano Buendia in recent years, ranked highly

Aston Villa, who have signed the likes of Emiliano Buendia in recent years, ranked highly

Newcastle United, Leicester, Southampton, Liverpool and West Ham also figure in the top 20, with other English top-flight teams not too far behind.

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By contrast, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona ranked best for making shrewd signings below the actual market value, while Wolves came out best of the Premier League clubs. 

Atletico, who ranked best of all clubs in Europe’s top five leagues, spent £520m on new signings over the decade when their true market value was £592m.

Barcelona, meanwhile, have spent £1.29bn on players but they had a combined market worth of £1.32bn.

Wolves made a gain of over £18m when transfer fees and actual market value are compared. 

The CIES data excluded player signed by triggering buy-out or option-to-buy clauses, with the market values assessed by their own scientific methods.



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