Qatari club outspends Manchester City and Atletico Madrid in the transfer market

New boss: Al Arabi coach Dan Petrescu.
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Having spent big on the likes of Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao, it no surprise that Manchester United top the list of biggest net spenders in this summer's transfer market.

But you would be hard pushed to find anyone who could correctly name the eighth-placed club inside the top 10: Qatari side Al Arabi.

Managed by former Chelsea full-back Dan Petrescu, the Doha-based club spent close to €40million on five new players as they look to improve on last season's fifth-placed finish in the Qatar Stars League.

The huge outlay places Arabi ahead of the likes of Abu Dhabi-owned English Premier League champions Manchester City, and last season's Champions League finalists Atletico Madrid.

 

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Chief among Arabi's new recruits is Iran international Ashkan Dejagah who joined in an €6m deal from Fulham after enjoying a fine World Cup.

The 28-year-old, voted by Fulham fans as their Player of the Year last season, spent two-years in West London after spending the majority of his career in Germany with Hertha Berlin and Wolfsburg respectively.

 

Another winger from the English Premier League has also joined Dejagah in the Gulf - former Spain international Pablo Hernandez.

The ex-Valencia wideman penned a three-year deal with Arabi after joining for an undisclosed fee, believed to be in the region of €5m, from Swansea City.

[RELATED: Michael Laudrup's quiet arrival can help Qatar make a big noise at the 2018 World Cup]

Arabi's biggest outlay, however, went on young Belgian winger Maxime Lestienne who joined in a deal worth €10m from Club Brugge.

 

Curiously, the 22-year-old has since been loaned out to Serie A side Genoa having failed to make a single appearance for his parent club.

Another to check in from Belgian football was 20-year-old Nigerian striker Imoh Ezekiel, who joining from Standard Liege for a fee of €8m - the same figure that was also spent in luring Brazilian forward Paulinho from Livorno.

Arabi also tried to lure Barcelona midfield maestro Xavi, but despite Petrescu claiming a deal was done, the 34-year-old opted to stay at the Camp Nou for another year.

Arabi's lavish spending has paid instant dividends with the club picking up four points from their opening two games of the season.

A 3-1 opening day win over Al Khor saw Ezekiel and Hernandez get their names on the scoresheet before Ezekiel and Paulinho scored in a 2-2 draw with Al Gharafa.

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