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Global transfers hit record

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According to Fifa's Transfer Matching System (TMS), the total spend on transfer fees worldwide was $4.8bn in 2016, a 14.3 per cent increase compared with the previous year and well above inflation.

Since 2010, all clubs are required to record transfer deals through the TMS.  14,951 deals were concluded in 2016, the highest number ever, and about a thousand more than the previous year.

European clubs continue to dominate the market, accounting for 82 per cent of all spending on transfer fees in 2016.   English clubs spent $1.37bn on transfer fees in 2016, an 8.7 per cent increase on the year. Spanish clubs were the largest sellers, receiving $554.5m in transfer fees last year, more than the $508.7m they spent on players.

However, Chinese clubs are the new kids on the block.  They spent $451.3m on transfer fees in 2016, a 168.2 per cent increase compared with the year before.

We will be taking a more detailed look at the Chinese Super League in the next few days.