Transfer spending in Europe scaled record levels of almost €5.6billion ($8.62 bn) during the close-season window in 2017, according to a new UEFA report.
The European Club Footballing Landscape study reveals 80 per cent of global transfer spending took place in the continent's "big five" leagues.
With Neymar's world-record €222million switch from Camp Nou to Parc des Princes leading the way, last year saw six of the top 20 transfer fees of all time, with 10 reported transfers in excess of €50m – twice as many as in the 2016 window.
The Premier League was both the biggest spender and biggest earner of the window, with an outlay of €1.7bn and €911m recouped. This amounted to the worst net spend figure of -€772m in Europe.
The lavish overhaul of Paris Saint-Germain, the highest individual spender, saw a growth of 331 per cent in Ligue 1 spending compared to 2016, while Manchester City (second highest in the window) are the biggest spenders over the past five years.
The highest wage bill in Europe belongs to Barcelona (€372m), 5.2 times the La Liga average.
For the first time on record, the average wage bill in the Premier League (€153.9m) was more than double that of the next highest league, the Bundesliga (€75.3m).
Manchester City (€362m) overtook Real Madrid (€334m) as having the highest value of players on their balance sheet, although the original transfer cost of the latter's squad (€754m) remained the highest.
Barcelona, flushed with their Neymar bounty, were the only club in the top 10 to balance their transfer activity.
Spanish and European champions Real Madrid did not feature in the top 10 spenders for the second consecutive year – something Zinedine Zidane might regret as his stars languish this season.
Europe's top 10 spenders in the 2017 transfer window:
1. Paris Saint-Germain €418m
2. Manchester City €249m
3. AC Milan € 235m
4. Chelsea €200m
5. Barcelona €193m
6. Manchester United €164m
7. Everton €158m
8. Juventus €151m
9. Bayern Munich €104m
10. AS Monaco €102m