Manchester United have paid £210m above market value for signings over the last decade – more than any other club in Europe’s big five leagues.
Old Trafford Club have spent a total of £1.4bn on 33 players since 2012, when they were together worth just £1.19bn, according to a study by the CIES Football Observatory.
Her signings include the £89m purchase of Paul Pogba, then a world-record fee, the £85m spent on Antony this summer and £80m to buy Harry Maguire.
Jadon Sancho, Romelu Lukaku, Angel Di Maria, Casemiro, Bruno Fernandes, Anthony Martial, Fred and Lisandro Martinez have also cost United over £50m over the period.
The inquiry also revealed that Juventus overpaid £208m for 36 new players and Paris Saint-Germain overpaid 31 by £142m.
Indicating that club sales are driving up transfer fees for Premier League buyers, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Arsenal and Everton also make the top 10.
Villa, who have been involved with Emiliano Buendia, Ollie Watkins and Leon Baily in recent years, have overpaid by £130million, which CIES has calculated to be the true value of the signed players.
Chelsea finished sixth, just behind Real Madrid, after spending £1.16bn on 36 signings, worth £1.04bn to be precise, an apparent overspending of just under £120m.
These include the £97.5million signing of Romelu Lukaku in 2021 only for the Belgium striker to be loaned to Inter Milan a year later, as well as the likes of Wesley Fofana, Kai Havertz and Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Arsenal, just below Chelsea, were found to have spent £114m above quota on 33 players since 2012, with Everton overspending the market estimate at £85m.
Newcastle United, Leicester, Southampton, Liverpool and West Ham are also in the top 20, with other top English sides not too far behind.
In contrast, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona performed best for making clever signings below actual market value, while Wolves were the best performers among Premier League clubs.
Atletico, the best of clubs in Europe’s top five leagues, spent £520m on signings over the decade when their real market value was £592m.
Barcelona meanwhile have spent £1.29bn on players but they had a combined market value of £1.32bn.
Wolves made a profit of over £18million when comparing transfer fees and actual market value.
The CIES data excluded players signed by triggering buyout or call option clauses, assessing market values using their own scientific methods.