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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 10 December 2018

Neymar's Barcelona exit and Morata's move to Chelsea help Primera Liga clubs post collective transfer profit

While the Premier League again set a new spending record during the summer transfer window, Spanish clubs reached the deadline day nearly €100m in the black.

Neymar's world record €222m move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain played a big role in the Primera Liga's collective profit. Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt / AFP
Neymar's world record €222m move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain played a big role in the Primera Liga's collective profit. Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt / AFP

In contrast to the lavish spending of England's Premier League clubs and French giants Paris Saint-Germain, Spain's transfer window closed on Friday with Primera Liga clubs posting a healthy profit.

Collectively, Spanish clubs emerged from a fervent few months in the transfer market in the black thanks to the huge sales of Neymar to PSG for a world record €222 million (Dh967m) and Chelsea's €80m splurge on Real Madrid's Alvaro Morata.

Sports daily Marca reported on Friday that Primera Liga sides posted just short of €95m in profit.

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Spanish clubs have dominated European competition in recent seasons with Barca and Real Madrid winning the Uefa Champions League for the past four years.

However, tellingly Neymar is the first case of one of Spain's big two losing one of their prized assets to a foreign league since Ronaldo joined Inter Milan in 1997.

Neymar's departure meant Barcelona were by far the biggest spenders thanks to a haphazard search for replacements to rebuild their squad without the Brazilian.

With Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu facing calls for his resignation the Catalans splashed a total of €192.5m on five players - Marlon Santos, Nelson Semedo, Gerard Deulofeu, Paulinho and Ousmane Dembele.

That total could still rise significantly with the €105m deal that took Dembele to the Camp Nou bolstered by a further €40m in performance-related bonuses.

But Barca, who aim to become the first club to post one billion euros in turnover in the coming seasons, were still profitable from their transfer dealings thanks to the Neymar move.

A number of different factors have contributed to a fiscally responsible window.

Spanish clubs can't rely on booming revenues from television contracts that have backed the Premier League's record £1.4 billion (Dh6.66bn) splurge on transfers.

Yet even those with the funds like European champions Real Madrid have opted for stability after a season of huge success.

Madrid won their first Primera Liga and Champions League double for 59 years and president Florentino Perez was urged by manager Zinedine Zidane to retain the same squad that has served the Frenchman so well.

"With the team I have, the squad we have right now, I don't want anyone," said Zidane ahead of last weekend's clash with Valencia.

Madrid's recent policy of snapping up the best young talent in Spanish football continued.

Theo Hernandez became the first player to cross the Madrid divide from Atletico since 2000, while Real also beat Barca to the signature of Dani Ceballos, the best player at this year's Under-21 European Championship.

Madrid have been quick to cash in on the desires of free-spending Premier League clubs for players that failed to even make it into their strongest starting XI last season.

As well as offloading Morata, Madrid recouped their outlay on Brazilian right-back Danilo despite two seasons as a squad player, joining Manchester City for €30m.

Across the Spanish capital, Atletico were banned by Fifa from registering new players due to irregularities in the club's signing of foreign minors. Atletico were also hampered by the costs of moving to a new 68,000 capacity stadium this season.

They have though invested wisely in tying down a number of key players including Antoine Griezmann, Koke and Saul Niguez to long-term contracts.