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Chelsea spent just €45million on Mateo Kovacic but recouped €205m in sales. Photo: PA

Chelsea spent just €45million on Mateo Kovacic but recouped €205m in sales. Photo: PA

Chelsea spent just €45million on Mateo Kovacic but recouped €205m in sales. Photo: PA

Chelsea made the biggest net profit of any club in the world in the last two transfer windows, according to newly-released data.

The London club, who served a transfer ban last summer after breaching FIFA rules on the recruitment of young players, spent just €45million on Mateo Kovacic but recouped €205m in sales.

The CIES Football Observatory found that at the other end of the scale Real Madrid - who paid Chelsea an initial reported €100m plus add-ons for Belgian playmaker Eden Hazard last summer - were €181m in negative balance when it came to transfers.

Astonishingly, Premier League new boys Aston Villa were second to Real, spending €172m and earning just €3m, for a balance of -€169m.

Premier League clubs had the biggest net deficit of Europe's big five leagues, spending €844m more than they earned. Only Ligue 1 showed an overall profit, of €106m.

Chelsea were the only Premier League team in the top 10 in terms of net earners, something which should help them post improved financial figures for 2019-20 after recording a loss of £96m for the year ending June 30, 2019.

Benfica, who sold Joao Felix to Atletico Madrid last summer for a reported £113m, were in second place with a net profit of €166m, while Ajax were €137m up in third after selling star youngsters Matthijs De Ligt and Frenkie De Jong to Juventus and Barcelona respectively.

Villa were joined in the top 10 in terms of negative balance by Manchester United and Tottenham in fourth and fifth respectively, who spent €151m and €141m more than they earned.