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  1. ITV Report

January transfer spending slashed year-on-year in first fall since 2012

Chelsea's £55m outlay for Christian Pulisic accounted for nearly a third of the total expenditure Photo: PA

Premier League clubs spent £180million during the January transfer window - the first time the figure has fallen since 2012, according to football finance experts at Deloitte.

Nearly a third of the total expenditure was accounted for by Chelsea's £55million outlay for Christian Pulisic from Borussia Dortmund.

Last year's winter transfer window saw top flight clubs shell out £430million, with big money moves including Virgil van Dijk at £75million and Aymeric Laporte for £50million.

However, most of the major transactions this January saw players leaving Premier League sides, with Brahim Diaz moving from Manchester City to Real Madrid for £15.5million, Mousa Dembele moving to Guangzhou R&F from Tottenham for £11million and Schalke shelling out £9.6million for Manchester City's Rabbi Matondo.

Tim Bridge, director in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, said: "As we approach a decisive phase of the season, Premier League clubs' January transfer spending has been relatively muted in comparison to what we have seen in previous years."

January spending was at £225million in 2011 but fell to £60million in the following year.

Last year's total was boosted by big money signings like Virgil Van Dijk Credit: PA

It doubled the following year, and remained steady at £130million in 2014 and 2015, before jumping to £175million, £215million and £430million over the last three seasons.

The £180million transfer bill means total gross spending by Premier League clubs in the 2018/19 season is an estimated £1.4billion, the second-highest season ever following record spend of £1.9billion in 2017/18.

Other findings from Deloitte included the so-called Big Six accounting for 43% of the January expenditure, lower than last January when this figure stood at 62%.

Equally, those in the bottom six of the table spent £20million - compared to £70million in the same period last season.

Championship clubs spent £60million in the window, more than double last year's total of £30million, Deloitte added.