PARIS (AFP) – Premier League leaders Manchester City have the most expensive squad in history, according to a report published on Monday by the Swiss-based CIES Football Observatory.
The research values Pep Guardiola’s squad at $1.08 billion, with Paris Saint-Germain second on $993 million, after a January transfer window in which City acquired centre-back Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao for $80 million.
Neymar’s world-record signing from Barcelona accounts for more than a quarter of the PSG total but Kylian Mbappe is only on loan, despite an anticipated transfer fee of up to $222 million to be paid to Monaco at the end of the season.
That leaves Guardiola managing the costliest-ever collection of talent.
“When you want to compete at the highest level, you need to spend,” Guardiola said last month.
“Some clubs spend £400, £500 million on two players. We spend it on six players.”
Two other teams have spent more than $864 million building their squads – Manchester United ($922 million) and Barcelona ($895 million).
The rest of the top ten is made up of Real Madrid in sixth, Juventus in eighth and four Premier League teams – Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Everton.
The researchers calculated that the average Premier League squad cost “a record high” of $359 million, more than double La Liga’s average of $161 million.