PARIS: Premier League leaders Manchester City have the most expensive squad in history, according to a report published by the Swiss-based CIES Football Observatory.
The research values Pep Guardiola’s squad at €878 million ($1.08 billion), with Paris Saint-Germain second on €805 million, after a January transfer window in which City acquired center-back Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao for €65 million.
Man City are financed by the Abu Dhabi United Group which is owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, half-brother of Abu Dhabi’s ruler and UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan. Sheikh Mansour purchased the English club in 2008.
PSG are owned by Oryx Qatar Sports Investments and they made Neymar the world's most costliest player last summer, signing the Brazilian for $263 million from Barcelona. That transfer 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 €180 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 £300, £400 million on two players. We spend it on six players.”
Two other teams have spent more than €700m building their squads — Manchester United (€747m) and Barcelona (€725m).
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 €291m, more than double La Liga’s average of €131 million.
New @CIES_Football analysis on transfer spending to sign current squad members: @ManCity (€878 M) has costliest squad in history ahead of @PSG_inside (€805 M) & @ManUtd (€747 M), data for all big-5 league clubs at https://t.co/KA1Tpnadoq pic.twitter.com/A6bFfheypr
— CIES Football Obs (@CIES_Football) February 12, 2018