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 By Ben Gladwell

Serie A clubs break Italy's transfer record with €708m summer spend

Italian clubs spent a record of almost €708 million in the transfer market this summer, thanks mainly to investments made by Juventus and Inter Milan.

This summer's trading in Italy was up almost €100m on the same period last year, with Juve's €90m signing of Gonzalo Higuain by far and away the biggest investment -- being also a new record fee paid by an Italian club.

The Bianconeri, who are seeking a sixth straight Scudetto this season, did not stop with only Higuain, however.

The arrivals of Miralem Pjanic (€32m) and Marko Pjaca (€23m) contributed to them spending over €161m in total, although the world record sale of Paul Pogba to Manchester United actually helped them offset their spending and make a total profit of €23.5m, earning them top marks in La Gazzetta dello Sport for their transfer dealings.

Juve's profit contrasts dramatically with the negative balance of Inter's transfer dealings, with almost €70m spent in the final 48 hours of the transfer window on Joao Mario and Gabigol, with the club having spent €22m already on Antonio Candreva.

By comparison, the outlay of city rivals AC Milan -- who, like Inter, were taken over by Chinese investors this summer -- came in at a relatively paltry €25.5m, divided between Gianluca Lapadula, Jose Ernesto Sosa and Gustavo Gomez.

Napoli reinvested all of the money they earned from selling Higuain to Juventus, with Arkadiusz Milik their biggest outlay at €32m, and Nikola Maksimovic -- whose signing was approved just a matter of minutes before Wednesday's deadline -- costing them a further €26m, meaning the club made a net loss of almost €13m in their summer's transfer activity.

Although the overall spending in Italy continues to pale in comparison with Premier League clubs, the figure is almost double the amount invested four and five years ago, when a financial crisis was threatening Italian football.

With UEFA's changes to the Champions League coming into effect from 2018 -- which will guarantee four Serie A clubs a place in the tournaments group stage and increased revenue -- more Italian clubs now appear to be confident of spending with less thrift.

Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.

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