Premier League clubs have erred on the side of caution in this summer's transfer market, facing constant financial scrutiny from UEFA and having to tailor their squad to abide by the F.A. 25-man squad rule introduced last season to give ''homemade'' youth players a better chance of breaking into their club's first team.
Many clubs such as Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City must look to offload several fringe players before they can look to bring in players who can propel them towards a Premier League title challenge. Other clubs are just fearful of being sucked into a bidding war for their transfer targets, which would inflate prices beyond their reach.
Despite this relative austerity, a report released earlier this month by accountancy firm Deloitte highlighted combined debts of £3.5 billion, despite consistent increases in revenue over the past three decades.
Nevertheless, clubs continue to spend beyond their means and the British press has regularly linked the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City, who continue to post huge losses and whose combined wage bill exceeds £300 million per year, with big-money moves for the world's biggest football stars.
Today there is news of a new £38 million by Chelsea and an exodus of players from Manchester United in order to generate funds for Sir Alex Ferguson's big plans to evolve his title-winning squad and stay ahead of the competition.