Premier League clubs spent more than their Chinese Super League counterparts during the January transfer window.
The CSL announced itself as football's newest financial superpower 12 months ago with a stunning outlay of €344.64 million, as the likes of Hulk and Alex Teixeira left Europe for the Far East. Less cash was splashed this year (€218.79m), though, due in part to the Chinese Football Association imposing new restrictions on the use of foreign players.
However, the deals done by the CSL were arguably more significant, with Axel Witsel, a Belgium international in his prime, rejecting a move to Juventus in favour of joining Tianjin Quanjian, and Oscar leaving English champions-elect Chelsea for Shanghai SIPG for €60m, as the Chinese transfer record was smashed for the fifth time in 12 months.
The Premier League nonetheless reclaimed its title as January's biggest spenders, with an expenditure of €257.05m (£218.49m). That was in spite of the fact that there were few major transfers. Everton acquired Manchester United reserve Morgan Schneiderlin for €22.9m (£19.47m), while Gabriel Jesus was arguably the most exciting new arrival - and even then, the Brazilian's €32m (£27.2m) switch to Manchester City from Palmeiras had been agreed months in advance.
Still, the impact of the English top flight's colossal TV rights deal was still very much in evidence, particularly on deadline day, when Burnley paid Norwich City €15m (£12.84m) for Robbie Brady and Crystal Palace handed over €16m (£13.6m) to Olympiacos for Luka Milivojevic.
Ligue 1 flexed its financial muscles during the winter window, though, with €151.3m spent. However, PSG accounted for just under half of that figure by paying a combined €70m for Julian Draxler and Goncalo Guedes, thus illustrating the Qatari-owned club's economic might - and also arguably their desperation to overhaul Monaco and Nice at the top of the table.
Still, there were significant deals elsewhere, with Marseille bringing Dimitri Payet back to the Stade Velodrome for €29.3m, and Lyon ending Memphis Depay's Manchester United nightmare at a cost of €16m.
Bundesliga clubs were the fourth-highest spenders (€99.26m), even though reigning champions Bayern Munich only focused on finalising summer arrivals (Niklas Sule and Sebastian Rudy), while Borussia Dortmund's only new addition was Alexander Isak, the Swedish teenager who joined from AIK Solna for €8.6m.
Serie A sides finished fifth in the spending stakes, on €95.84mm, with a significant chunk of that sum set to go to Atalanta, who sold Mattia Caldara to Juventus for €15m on the proviso that they be able to keep him in Bergamo until next year and loaned Roberto Gagliardini to Inter for €2m with a view to a permanent €28m transfer.
Interestingly, Liga clubs ranked 12th (€23.5m), less than half as much as those in England's second-tier competition, the Championship (€48.66m). However, Spanish sides rarely spend big during the January window, while the transfer bans to Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid also ensured a quiet month in the Primera Division.
2017 JANUARY TRANSFER WINDOW EXPENDITURE
1. Premier League: €257.05m
2. CSL: €218.79m
3. Ligue 1: €151.3m
4. Bundesliga: €99.26m
5. Serie A: €95.84m
6. Championship: €48.66m
7. Liga MX Clausura: €38.72m
8. Jupiler Pro League: €28.95m
9. Premier Liga (Russia): €28.51m
10. Major League Soccer: €26.12m
11. Super Lig: €23.83m
12. La Liga: €23.50m
13. Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A: €22.51m
14. China League One €16.55m
15. Eredivisie €12.67m
16. Liga NOS €11.35
17. 2.Bundesliga €9.05m
18. ePojisteni.cz liga (Czech Rep.) €6.3m
19. Super League (Greece) €5.05m
20. Meiji Yasuda J1 League €4.98m