Manchester United's Casemiro, right, celebrates with Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes after scoring his side's second goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Nottingham Forest at the Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, England, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023.

The 20 most expensively assembled squads in world football: Man Utd, Chelsea lead…

Manchester United have the most expensively assembled squad in world football – and there’s no bigger evidence of the Premier League’s riches than the full top 20 list. 

Chelsea and Manchester City are two of the three other clubs to have broken the €1billion barrier in building their squads alongside perennial Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain.

Over half of the most expensive squads in the world are English clubs, while PSG are the only other club alongside the Premier League’s traditional ‘big six’ at the top end.

It’s striking that Tottenham have spent more on transfer fees on players in Ange Postecoglou’s current squad (€829million) than La Liga giants Real Madrid have on theirs (€708million), that West Ham’s squad (€505million) cost more than Bayern Munich’s and that Nottingham Forest’s only cost €10million less than Barcelona’s.

Even relegation-battlers Everton (€418million) spent more on transfer fees for players in their current squad than Serie A champions Napoli (€392million).

It’s worth noting that this does not account for net spend and does not factor in funds raised from lucrative departures, such as Tottenham’s €100million sale of Harry Kane to Bayern Munich. It’s purely totting up the cumulative transfer fees of the players currently in every club’s squad.

Nineteen of the top 20 clubs are based in Europe’s major leagues (11 in England, one in France, three in Spain, two in Germany and one in Italy) but Saudi Pro League club Al-Hilal feature up in 18th, one place ahead of Barcelona.

Al-Hilal’s squad cost a total €382million in transfer fees – the vast majority of which was spent this summer on marquee signings like Neymar (€90million), Malcom (€60million), Ruben Neves (€55million), Aleksandar Mitrovic (€52million), Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (€40million) and Kalidou Koulibaly (€20million).

The full list makes for interesting reading. The data comes via CIES Football Observatory, who have crunched the numbers and broken down the transfer costs for the 100 most expensively-assembled squads in world football.

1. Manchester United – €1.15billion
2. Chelsea – €1.13billion
3. Manchester City – €1.04billion
4. Paris Saint-Germain – €1billion
5. Arsenal – €836million
6. Tottenham – €829million
7. Liverpool – €770million
8. Real Madrid – €708million
9. Newcastle United – €661million
10. West Ham United – €505million
11. Aston Villa – €486million
12. Bayern Munich – €481million
13. Juventus – €473million
14. Everton – €418million
15. RB Leipzig – €399million
16. Napoli – €392million
17. Atletico Madrid – €387million
18. Al-Hilal – €382million
19. Barcelona – €375million
20. Nottingham Forest – €365million

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