10 Bayern Munich (£253m)
Bayern just creep into the top 10 of the list, which is based on numbers from CIES. The figures, which relate to the season to date, might be different had the Magpies been able to call upon record signing Alexander Isak more regularly.
The Bundesliga champions have added close to £100m of new signings to their ranks over the summer, with Sadio Mane and Matthijs de Ligt among the highest-profile arrivals. However, their squad also includes free transfers and academy graduates including long-serving forward Thomas Muller.
9 Juventus (£258m)
Just ahead of Bayern are Juve, who have made good use of the free agency market on many an occasion. Their starting XIs might even be cheaper had Paul Pogba – who joined from Man Utd in the summer – not been sidelined through injury.
January signing Dusan Vlahovic is the most expensive member of the squad, but the Bianconeri also have a number of longer-serving players who cost them a fair whack a few years ago. It hasn’t helped them, though, with Max Allegri’s team out of the Champions Leagueearly and down in seventh in Serie A.
8 Barcelona (£287m)
Another team suffering Champions League disappointment, Barcelona spent big over the summer in an effort to refresh their squad. However, the additions of Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha haven’t helped Xavi’s side in Europe.
Over the years, Barca have blended big-money marquee signings with academy graduates like Sergio Busquets and Ansu Fati. However, their forward options have set the club back more than £220m on their own, with Lewandowski, Raphinha, Ferran Torres and Ousmane Dembele all expensive acquisitions.
7 Real Madrid (£318m)
The reigning Champions League winners have dipped back into the market after some sound investments gave them victory in Paris in May. The likes of Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior have stuck around, but Carlo Ancelotti has bolstered his midfield with £80m star Aurelien Tchouameni.
While there are expensive squad members at the Bernabeu, including Tchouameni and Eden Hazard, there are also free transfers. The likes of David Alaba and Antonio Rudiger have arrived for nothing, while there has often been a spot for at least one academy talent with Lucas Vazquez and Nacho picking up minutes.
6 Arsenal (£329m)
Arsenal have spent big over the last two summer windows to set themselves up for a title challenge. Mikel Arteta’s team has been transformed from the one he inherited, and that is clear to see in the results on the pitch.
5 Chelsea (£338m)
Chelsea were the biggest spenders in the Premier League over the summer, welcoming around £270m worth of new players. However, injury has meant they’ve been without the most expensive of those for much of the season, with Wesley Fofana managing just two league starts for the Blues.
The rest of the team has been a blend of academy graduates including Mason Mount, free agents including Thiago Silva, and expensive recruits including £62m Kai Havertz. The average may drop between now and the World Cup, with £71m goalkeeper Kepa suffering an injury against Brighton.
4 Liverpool (£352m)
Despite some injury setbacks this season, Liverpool have regularly been able to field an expensively-assembled XI. Alisson, Virgil van Dijk and summer signing Darwin Nunez account for more than £200m between them, but £36m man Ibrahima Konate and £41m Diogo Jota have both been sidelined for periods.
Jurgen Klopp has also had an eye for a bargain like Andy Robertson and has successfully integrated the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Curtis Jones from the academy. However, the Reds’ total is a reminder of how teams now need to spend to compete.
3 Manchester United (£413m)
Speaking of spending, Man Utd have forked out more than £130m on former Ajax players alone this summer. Throw Casemiro and 2021 signing Raphael Varane into the mix and you’re already more than halfway towards that huge total.
The average of around £37m per player might be even higher were it not for two of last season’s regulars dropping out of the XI. £80m centre-back Harry Maguire made way for Lisandro Martinez before his injury, while Cristiano Ronaldo – bought for around £13m – has regularly been passed over for academy graduate Marcus Rashford.
2 Paris Saint-Germain (£439m)
Paris Saint-Germain have two of the most expensive players of all time in their squad, but they’re still not top of the pile. World record buy Neymar and France star Kylian Mbappe account for around £400m, but the duo haven’t started every game this term.
Elsewhere in the squad, PSG have benefited from some free transfers including Lionel Messi, Sergio Ramos and Gigi Donnarumma. Loaning out £50m Mauro Icardi and reintegrating Pablo Sarabia has also been a factor for Christophe Galtier’s team.
1 Manchester City (£560m)
Manchester City haven’t spent mega money on individual players all that often, but an average of just over £50m per player can be put down to their XI regularly including eight or nine players bought for around that average figure. Indeed, Phil Foden is the only academy graduate to earn regular minutes.
Erling Haaland arrived for £51m over the summer, and has occasionally been part of a £200m front three when Jack Grealish and Riyad Mahrez have started either side of him. Elsewhere in the squad, Rodri and Ruben Dias are among the most expensive recruits.
City have won the last two Premier League titles, benefiting from their big-money players in the process. However, despite all that money, they are still waiting for their first Champions League win.