Media Release

Fédération Internationale de Football Association

FIFA Strasse 20, P.O Box 8044 Zurich, Switzerland, +41 (0) 43 222 7777

Friday 27 January 2017, 11:26

FIFA TMS Global Transfer Market 2017: record international transfers in 2016

Today, FIFA TMS launched its Global Transfer Market Report 2017. It examines official international transfer figures for the six confederations in 2016.

The report shows that the total number of international transfers reached a new peak last year, with 14,591 deals completed, surpassing the 14,000 mark for the first time ever. This is almost a thousand transfers more than the previous year, when there were a total of 13,601.

At USD 4.79bn, spending on transfer fees also reached a new high in 2016, with a 14.3 per cent increase from the previous year, the largest increase since 2013. Although clubs spent almost USD 5bn in 2016, a new record high, only 14.4 per cent of all worldwide transfers involved the payment of a fee.

The report also reveals that 879 transfers occurred between countries that had never before completed a single transfer together since the introduction of the International Transfer Matching System (ITMS) in 2010, with new transfer streams being created and old relationships remaining strong.

"This is a clear signal that football has become more global than ever," commented FIFA TMS Acting General Manager, Kimberly Morris. "It is interesting to see how the transfer market continues to evolve and expand year after year across the globe."

China PR garnered much global attention last year with many top footballers moving to play in the Chinese Super League. This transfer stream contributed to an increase in the spending of Chinese clubs to USD 451.3m in 2016, almost 17 times that of 2013, and 344.4 per cent more than the rest of AFC combined.

Analysis of international transfers in the transfer market in 2016 shows:  - UEFA clubs spent USD 3.93bn - 82.1 per cent of all spending on transfer fees

  • CONMEBOL clubs spent USD 182.6m – a 84.2 per cent increase on 2015

  • English clubs ranked first in spending on incoming transfers with USD 1.37bn – an 8.7 per cent increase on 2015 and over 43 per cent of the total spending of the “Big Five” countries (England, Germany, Spain, Italy and France)

A closer look at spending per confederation Clubs from UEFA dominated the transfer market, accounting for over 82 per cent of all spending on transfer fees in 2016, while CONMEBOL was the confederation with the biggest increase in transfers from the previous year, with incoming transfers up 15.9 per cent and outgoing transfers up 11.6 per cent from 2015.

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Net spending /

net receipts

Incoming transfers

Outgoing transfers

in USD million ( % change vs. 2015)

Number of transfers


3,934.1 (+8.2%)

3,955.3 (+11.5%)

  • 21.2




182.6 (+84.2%)

626.7 (+35.8%)

  • 444.2




553.0 (+71.9%)

88.2 (-7.8%)





111.8 (-5.8%)

52.6 (+11.1%)

  • 59.2




9.8 (-41.1%)

68.5 (+73.6%)

  • 58.7




0.0 (0.0%)

0.0 (-100.0%)





4,791.2 (+14.3%)





Key figures and facts: ** - **Russian clubs spent USD 114.1 million (+383.0% increase on 2015)

  • Spanish clubs received USD 554.5 million from outgoing transfers in 2016 (+49.5% increase on 2015)

  • The average age of players engaged by English clubs was 22 years and 8 months – the third youngest in the world

  • 69.2% of the total transfers completed in 2016 involved players between the ages of 20 and 28, with 23 being the age when most players were transferred (1,310 transfers)

  • 92% of players older than 32 that were transferred were out of contract, with permanent transfers more frequent for younger players, especially those that are in their teens

  • Qatari is the youngest nationality by the average age of players transferred in 2016 at 18 years and 10 months (41 transfers), while Liberian is the oldest at 29 years and 6 months (12 transfers)

The report also includes detailed information on the global transfer market relating to:

  • Geographical distribution

  • Transfer fees and intermediary commissions

  • Player age and its effect on transfers

  • Additional data relating to the top five member associations of each confederation

The FIFA TMS Global Transfer Market Report 2017 is available for free download at