The January transfer window offered clubs the chance to freshen up their squads in what has so far been a season more congested than any other before. As expected, the mid-season market was by no means frantic.
Days into the winter window Manchester United completed the signing of winger Amad Diallo, 18, from Atalanta, having paid an initial fee in the region of €20M last year. The deal for the Ivorian sensation may rise to the value of €37M.
In the departure lounge at Old Trafford were those surplus to requirements – Jesse Lingard completed a loan switch to West Ham, whilst Tim Fosu-Mensah and Marcos Rojo left permanently for Bayer Leverkusen and Boca Juniors, respectively.
Mesut Özil had his Arsenal contract terminated prematurely following ostracisation from the squad. After seven years in North London, the World Cup winner signed with Turkish outfit Fenerbahçe until 2024.
The Gunners added to their ranks with the loan signings of playmaker Martin Ødegaard, 22, from Real Madrid and 'keeper Mat Ryan from Brighton.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles was loaned out to West Brom, and similarly Joe Willock to Newcastle.
Liverpool answered their ubiquitous defensive injury crisis by bringing in centre-backs Ben Davies from Preston and Ozan Kabak from Schalke.
The Reds loaned out Takumi Minamino to Southampton.
West Ham confirmed the €23M signing of forward Säid Benrahma, 25, on a permanent basis after an initial loan from Brentford; the Algerian attacker signed until 2026 at the London Stadium.
The Hammers sold Sébastien Haller to Ajax for €22M – less than half the amount they paid for the striker in July 2019.
- Aston Villa bought Morgan Sanson from Marseille for €16M; the French midfielder put pen to paper on a deal running until 2025.
- Brighton confirmed the signing of Ecuador international midfielder Moises Caicedo, 19.
- Crystal Palace strengthened up front with Frenchman Jean-Philippe Mateta on an 18-month loan from German club Mainz.
- Wolves, too, added to their attack with the loan signing of Willian José from Real Sociedad, with option to buy the Brazilian for €20M.
- Serie A reigning champions Juventus acquired midfielder Nicolò Rovella for €18M, however the 19-year-old will remain at Genoa until the end of the 2021/22 season, on loan.
- Stephan El Shaarawy made a return to his native Italy as he rejoined ex-club Roma on a free transfer.
- Log leaders AC Milan brought in a flurry of players, including Croatian centre-forward Mario Mandzukic on a free transfer. Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori landed in Milan on a loan deal which includes a €29M buy option.
Midfielder Soualiho Meïté further added to the Rossoneri's ranks, on loan from Torino.
- Atalanta captain Alejandro Gómez departed the club following a breakdown in relationship with manager Gasperini. After six years in Italy, Gómez signed for Europa League holders Sevilla until June 2024, costing just €5M.
- Atlético Madrid moved for Geoffrey Kondogbia to replace Thomas Partey who left for Arsenal in October. Kondogbia, 27, switched from Valencia for a €15M fee.
- Following the release of Diego Costa, Atlético welcomed Moussa Dembélé on loan from Lyon, with option to buy the French forward for an estimated €35M next season.
- Local rivals Real loaned out Luka Jović to former club Frankfurt.
- The most conspicuous Bundesliga incoming transfer saw RB Leipzig bag Dominik Szoboszlai, 20, from RB Salzburg for €20M; the Hungarian playmaker penned a 4-and-a-half year deal.
- In the French Ligue 1, Monaco splashed a similar sum for Senegalese winger Krépin Diatta, 21, who arrived from Belgian outfit Club Brugge,
- William Saliba returned to France, signing for OGC Nice on loan from Arsenal.
- Marseille signed out-of-favour Napoli striker Arkadiusz Milik on an 18-month loan.
- Islam Slimani also moved on loan, from Leicester to Lyon to fill the void left by the departed Dembele.
With just five months remaining on his Barcelona contract Lionel Messi is yet to strike a pre-agreement with any club. The six-time Ballon d’Or winner is linked with a reunion alongside former manager Pep Guardiola at Man City, however Messi may also be enticed to Paris by the prospect of playing under countryman Pochettino, and alongside ex-teammate Neymar.
Messi and Barça come up against Poch’s PSG in the UCL Round of 16 next week.
Fellow Argentine Sergio Agüero is also expected to be unattached at the end of June and is due to open his account for Man City in the current PL season, having so far notched only 141 minutes of playtime under his belt.
Rumours suggest David Alaba will join Real Madrid upon the cease of his Bayern contract.
Los Blancos skipper Sergio Ramos is also a free agent as at 1 July and has been linked with PSG in addition to several English teams.
*Players with contracts expiring in 2021:
- Ángel Di María (33)
- David Alaba (29)
- Edinson Cavani (34)
- Eric García (20)
- Georginio Wijnaldum (30)
- Gianluigi Donnarumma (22)
- Hakan Calhanoglu (27)
- Jerome Boateng (33)
- Julian Draxler (27)
- Lionel Messi (34)
- Memphis Depay (27)
- Sergio Agüero (33)
- Sergio Ramos (35)
- Thiago Silva (36)
- Zlatan Ibrahimović (39)
*age at time of contract expiry