Transfers Around Europe: How The World’s Elite Are Spending Their Money
July 26, 2017
With Real Madrid allegedly poised to sign Monaco’s exiting young French striker Kylian Mbappe for a world record £120 million, thoughts are beginning to turn to next season and the prestigious Champions League.
While Madrid will spend big in a bid to secure a hat-trick of Champions League titles, their main European rivals are also looking to compete in the transfer market and build squads that are capable of challenging for the game’s top honours.
In this article, we will look at the transfers that have been completed across Europe so far, and ask how the world’s elite are spending their money…
More than £600 million has been spent by Premier League clubs so far, as they quickly close in on last summer’s spending record of £1 billion. Champions Chelsea have led this march, securing the services of Alvaro Morata (£60 million), Tiemoue Bakayoko (£40 million) and Antonio Rudiger (£30 million).
Manchester United have also spent £105 million on defender Victor Lindelof from Benfica and striker Romelu Lukaku from Everton, while neighbours City have plundered £119 million and are poised to invest £51 million more wile securing the services of Monaco’s athletic left back Bernard Mendy.
This level of spending sends an ominous warning to the rest of Europe, with even Everton spending in excess of £100 million so far while securing Wayne Rooney’s signing on a free transfer. Conversely, last season’s runners-up Spurs have yet to sign a single player having lost Kyle Walker to Manchester City for £45 million, while Arsenal and Liverpool have so far spent just £45 million and £40 million on Alexandre Lacazette and Mohamed Salah respectively.
With Atletico Madrid banned from making any signs this summer (and Barcelona having completed the sole signing of the returning, home-grown winger Gerard Deulofeu from Everton for £10 million), La Liga elite sides have been relatively quiet so far.
This is likely to change in the weeks ahead, with Real Madrid closing in on the £120 million-rated Mbappe and Barcelona also heavily linked with a £75 million move for Liverpool’s star playmaker Philippe Coutinho. Madrid also made the headlines by signing the 16-year old Brazilian forward Vinicius Junior for a staggering £40 million, showcasing their desire for sustained success while also reaffirming their status as the early Champions League favourites.
Sevilla have also been busy this summer, resigning the experienced Argentinian midfielder Éver Banega from Inter Milan, while high-flying Villarreal have also secured the services of Sporting’s versatile defender Rubén Semedo and Manchester City’s exciting prospect Enes Unal.
While La Liga’s top clubs may have been uncharacteristically quiet so far, those in the Bundesliga have been far more active. Take Bayern Munich, for example, who always seem to operate extremely efficiently when it comes to completing transfers and have so far signed six players to augment their already dominant squad.
These include former Arsenal winger Serge Gnabry (£7 million), Hoffenhiem duo Niklas Sule and Sebastian Rudy for undisclosed fees and the talented winger Kingsley Coman for a fee in the region of £30 million. Bayern also broke their own transfer record when signing the talented young Lyon midfielder Corentin Tolisso, who also became the Bundesliga’s most expensive import ever when he completed a 41.5 million Euro deal.
Perhaps the biggest signing comes on loan however, with James Rodriguez moving across from Real Madrid.
Rivals Borussia Dortmund may have lost their innovative coach Thomas Tuchel, but they have managed to strengthen their squad with three excellent signings. These include the talented Freiburg signing Max Philipp, Omer Toprak and the £10.5 million midfielder Mahmoud Dahoud, while their exciting winger Ousmane Dembele is expected to stay on. The future of forward Patrick Agyemang has yet to be determined, however, but retaining his services would make Dortmund strong for next season.
Fellow Champions League outfit RB Leipzig have endured a difficult summer, losing David Selke to Hertha Berlin and under incredible pressure to sell Naby Keita to Liverpool for a fee in the region of £75 million. They have signed the winger Bruma from Galatasary for £11 million, however, but may require more additions if they are to compete on both domestic and continental fronts.
Serie A has also been relatively quiet, with Roma the busiest of last seasons’ top three. Despite selling winger Mohamed Salah to Liverpool, they have managed to add Lyon midfielder Maxime Gonalons, Mexican centre-half Hector Moreno and Dutch right back Rick Karsdorp. They have also resigned Lorenzo Pellegrini and look well-placed to succeed in the new season.
Champions Juventus have been busy rubber-stamping loan moves so far this summer, signing Juan Cuadrado from Chelsea and Medhi Benatia on a permanent basis. Similarly, Napoli have also agreed permanent deals and fees for Marko Rog and Nikola Maksimovic, having enjoyed a relatively impressive season last time out following the departure of Gonzalo Higuain.
The biggest spenders so far have been fallen giants AC Milan, who have already added Frank Kessie, Musacchio, Ricardo Rodriguez and former Sunderland forward Fabio Borini to their ranks. They have also invested £33.5 million in the Portuguese striker Andre Silva, whose arrival has caused quite a stir in Serie A.
In France, Champions Monaco are preoccupied by trying to halt the revolving door, which has already seen playmaker Bernado Silva and striker Valère Germain leave the club. Kylian Mbappe is also on the verge of leaving, although the French principality have signed the promising Belgian playmaker Youri Tielemans or £21.6 million from Anderlecht.
Dethroned champions PSG have not spent anything (although they have added Brazilian Dani Alves for free), while they continue to be linked to the world record signing of Neymar for a truly staggering £196 million.
Last seasons’ Europa League semi-finalists Lyon have been far busier, spending the 41.5 million Euros they received for Tolisso on Bertrand Traore, Fernando Marcal and the young Real Madrid striker Mariano Diaz (who will serve as a direct replacement for the departing Lacazette).
These signings are unlikely to change the status quo in the French Ligue One, although Lyon’s transfer work and the potential of a big name deal or two for PSG could alter the landscape considerably.