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Southampton sign Luton defender Bree

Southampton sign Luton defender Bree

Premier League strugglers Southampton signed Luton defender James Bree for a reported fee of £750,000 ($930,000) on Thursday.

Saints boss Nathan Jones returned to his former Championship club to land Bree on a three-and-half-year contract.

Jones left Luton to take charge at Southampton in November.

The 25-year-old full-back is Southampton’s third signing in the January transfer window after the additions of Mislav Orsic and Carlos Alcaraz

“James is obviously someone who I know well from our time together at Luton, and he has the qualities both on the pitch and also in terms of his character to help us here,” Jones said.

“While we have really talented players in the full-back positions, we have been lighter on numbers than we would have liked, so the addition of James to the squad really helps us to address that.”

Bree played for Barnsley, Aston Villa and Ipswich before joining Luton in 2019, making a total of 143 appearances for the Hatters.

Southampton sit bottom of the Premier League and lost 1-0 to Newcastle in the League Cup semi-final first leg on Tuesday.

Southampton sign Luton defender Bree
Southampton sign Luton defender Bree

English clubs surpass $2bln transfer spend for first time in 2022

Mykhaylo Mudryk © Getty Images

English soccer clubs spent over $2 billion on new signings in 2022 for the first time, Fifa’s Global Transfer Report revealed on Thursday, with the number of international transfers of male and female players reaching record numbers.

 

There were 20 209 international transfers in men’s professional soccer in 2022, representing an increase of 11.6 per cent compared to 2021 and even exceeding the levels of 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Of the 2 843 transfers that included fees, the top 100 were responsible for almost 50 per cent of all money spent, with English clubs again topping the list. For the first time, their total outlay exceeded $2 billion, reaching a record high of almost $2.2 billion.

“The two-year negative trend in clubs’ spending on transfer fees was turned around in 2022, with last year’s total outlay reaching $6.5bn, an increase of 33.5 per cent compared to 2021, yet still below the all-time high of 2019,” Emilio Garcia Silvero, Fifa’s Chief Legal and Compliance officer, said.

Women’s professional football continued to grow in 2022. The number of international transfers last year was almost double the figure of 2018.

In 2022, the number of clubs involved in international transfers went up from 410 in 2021 to 500 last year, a 22 per cent increase,” Silvero said.

“All of this reflects the impressive strides being taken as more and more female players continue to turn professional. Some 1 555 international transfers were recorded in 2022, an increase of 19.3 per cent compared to the previous year, while a new high of 119 associations were involved in international transfers.”

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