The French club paid an eye-watering 222m euros ($260m; £200m) for the player, more than doubling the previous record set when Paul Pogba returned to Manchester United from Juventus for £89m in August 2016.

But that very prominent deal was just the very visible peak of a huge industry, namely the international trade in football players, which is becoming more and more of a global business.

Latest data from Fifa, the sport's governing body, show there have been 15,291 international transfers so far in 2017, with total spending on players hitting a record $6bn (£4.58bn).

International transfers are ones where a player moves from one country to another, as opposed to domestic transfers which take place between two clubs in the same country.

That record figure - which is unlikely to change by the end of the year as player transfer windows in the biggest European leagues are not due to open again until January 2018 - is a 25% increase on the $4.8bn spent in 2016.

Financial Story

IMF Statement on ...

Tanzania’s recent economic performance has been ...

Meeting will held ...

Meeting will held in 23 February, 2018

Tanzania cement ...

Increased investment in East Africa’s cement ...

Our Image Gallery

Template Settings

Color

For each color, the params below will give default values
Tomato Green Blue Cyan Dark_Red Dark_Blue

Body

Background Color
Text Color

Header

Background Color

Footer

Select menu
Google Font
Body Font-size
Body Font-family
Direction