A report into the summer transfer window in Europe has claimed that the continentâ€™s leading clubs have paid 16% more for players than five years ago, with new Manchester United signing Ãngel di MarÃa and former Chelsea defender David Luiz among those transfers considered way over the market rate.
The Swiss-based CIES Football Observatory compiled data from across Europeâ€™s big five leagues in England, Spain, Germany, Italy and France during the window using what is described on its website as â€œan exclusive algorithm created on the basis of nearly 1,500 fee paying transfers which have occurred during the previous five yearsâ€.
â€œOur new data analysis has revealed that overall, clubs paid on average 16% more than they invested in the five previous years for players with similar characteristics,â€ CIES said.
â€œThis confirms the ongoing inflation trend of the transfer market at the top end of the football pyramid.
â€œThe inflation trend is mainly due to the sums spent by a handful of wealthy clubs ready to pay more than a player is worth to get the best talent.â€
Di MarÃaâ€™s move from Real Madrid to Manchester United for a British record Â£59.7m (â‚¬75.5m) is cited as the most inflated fee in the recent window and estimated to be as much as Â£24m (â‚¬30m). That is closely followed by Paris Saint-Germainâ€™s purchase of the Brazil defender Luiz, who left Stamford Bridge for a fee of Â£50m (â‚¬62m) but is estimated to be worth Â£23m (â‚¬29m) less.
The study also highlights James RodrÃguezâ€™s move to Real Madrid, who despite winning the World Cupâ€™s Golden Boot in Brazil was worth as much as Â£20m (â‚¬25m) less than the Â£63m (â‚¬80m) paid to Monaco.
In contrast, Liverpool were involved in two transfers where CIES estimated players were undervalued â€“ the purchase of Mario Balotelli from Milan for Â£16m (â‚¬20.2m) and the sale of Luis SuÃ¡rez to Barcelona for Â£75m (â‚¬94m). Both were valued considerably higher, with Balotelli worth almost double his fee and SuÃ¡rez Â£9.5m (â‚¬12m) more than Barcelona eventually paid, a fact attributed to â€œthe existence of buyout clauses and/or non-sporting related issueâ€.
The third most undervalued player was Spainâ€™s Diego Costa, who Chelsea bought from AtlÃ©tico Madrid for Â£32m (â‚¬40.5m) â€“ Â£8m (â‚¬10m) less than he was worth, although once more his price was settled by a buyout clause in his contract.
CIES have also launched an online tool which allows you to assess the current transfer value of any player in Europeâ€™s five major leagues. – The Guardian