Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March last year, there has been an overall slowdown in the international transfer market. That trend continued in the January 2021 transfer window, which saw the least activity in the past six years.

Compared with last year, the drop is particularly striking: the number of international transfers of male professional players fell 36.2%, from 4,215 to 2,690, while the outlay on transfer fees plummeted from USD 1.16 billion last year to USD 0.59 billion this January, a 49.1% decrease.

However, women’s international transfers not only demonstrated resistance but also maintained momentum in January. The number of transfers was slightly down year on year (177 worldwide v. 185 in January 2020), but spending on transfer fees rose considerably, with clubs investing a combined USD 310,100, over 60% more than they spent in the same period in 2020 (USD 193,600).

For a breakdown of transfer types and the distribution of transfers by confederation and member association, you can download the FIFA International Transfer Market Snapshot – January 2021 from