With football clubs across Europe splashing the cash in the recent transfer window, it might prompt some to ask: has it all gone too far?
The biggest deal of the window came when Barcelona forked out £142m to capture the Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho – the second most expensive transfer ever and the biggest deal to go through in a January window.
At home in the Premier League, clubs spent £419.5m, more than doubling the total spent last year.
And there were some eye-watering outlays.
Included in that figure was defender Virgil Van Dijk, who went to Liverpool for £75m and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, a £60m buy from Borussia Dortmund for Arsenal.
Also there is the £57m Manchester City spent for French defender Aymeric Laporte, their record transfer. Despite that, City manager Pep Guardiola neglected to name a complete substitute’s bench for his side’s match against Burnley, claiming his side had too few players.
It is Manchester’s teams – United and City – who have lead the way with the recent inflated spending in the Premier League. But what do the city’s fans make of the state of it all?
Julien Bonnant, 30, a French football fan who lives Manchester, criticised the amount of money thrown around by big clubs.
He said: “We have the same problem in France with Paris Saint Germain. In France we don’t think money in football is a good thing.
“The passion of the clubs, the players is not there because of how much money there is.”
But Chris Grundy, a 49-year-old recruitment consultant and Manchester City fan didn’t see a problem with clubs spending their money.
“They’re private companies. If they can afford it it’s up to them. They’re not taking it out of anyone’s pockets. You support them. It’s your money and it’s their money.
On his team’s business in the window, he said: “It’s crazy isn’t but [the club] is a playtoy for very rich people. They have got the money and their going to spend it.
“It’s crazy money for us but for them it’s normal.”