Last-minute transfers were brokered across English soccer on Tuesday as analysts reported a sharp fall in overall spending as a low-key window last month drew to a close.
Struggling Queens Park Rangers provided two of the most eye-catching deals of the day after confirming the signing of French striker Djibril Cisse from Serie A side SS Lazio, before swooping for Fulham forward Bobby Zamora.
Cisse signed a two-and-a-half year deal with QPR for an undisclosed fee, while the club wrapped up what was believed to be a ￡5 million (US$7.86 million) deal for Zamora shortly before the window closed at 11pm.
Overall spending by Premier League clubs during the window was estimated at between ￡50 million and ￡40 million, well down on last year’s record spending of ￡225 million in January.
Alan Switzer, director of the sports business group at accountancy giants Deloitte, said this year’s fall could partially be attributed to the onset of UEFA’s financial fair-play regulations, which dictate that clubs wishing to take part in European competitions will only be allowed to spend what they earn.
“Financial fair play has definitely had an impact. The 2011-2012 season does now count towards the UEFA rules and that will be part of the consideration which clubs will be giving to any transfer,” he said.
“The likes of Chelsea and Manchester City have already been on record as saying they will take it into account in terms of their spending on transfers and wages,” he added.
In other transfer deals on Tuesday, Toffees striker Louis Saha was heading to Tottenham Hotspur in a surprise move to White Hart Lane.
“Striker Louis Saha has left Everton to join Tottenham Hotspur,” a statement on Everton’s Web site said.
Tottenham also reached a deal to offload Roman Pavlyuchenko to Lokomotiv Moscow in the final hours of the transfer window on Tuesday.
Pavlyuchenko had appeared on the verge of leaving Spurs for more than a year and on Tuesday, an ￡8 million deal to head back to his native Russia was finally clinched after he scored 42 goals in 113 appearances since joining from Spartak Moscow in 2008.
Defender Sebastien Bassong was sent to Wolverhampton Wanderers on loan until the end of the season and midfielder Steven Pienaar rejoined Everton for the same period.
Meanwhile, Manchester United parted company with Ravel Morrison, the highly rated 18-year-old player who failed to establish himself at Old Trafford and has now signed for Championship side West Ham United.
Morrison is regarded as one of the most promising youngsters ever to pass through the Manchester United ranks, but the club reportedly lost patience amid ongoing problems in his private life.
Manchester City, meanwhile, sealed the loan signing of AS Roma’s Chile international midfielder David Pizarro until the end of the season.
The 32-year-old played under Roberto Mancini when he managed Inter.
“Pizarro is a good player. I think he can help us in the next three months because he is a good player. He has good quality,” he said.
The diminutive 32-year-old will offer competition for places in central midfield as City seek their first top flight crown since 1968.
Yaya Toure is still away at the Africa Cup of Nations, Gareth Barry has been steady if unspectacular, while Nigel de Jong and Owen Hargreaves have had few opportunities to impress this term.