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Transfers Special

Updated: Oct 11, 2020

The European summer transfer window officially shut after 71 days open and most clubs did not hesitate to dip into their pockets. While some pursued precise transfer strategies, others were (unsurprisingly) less straightforward in their dealings.

Heavyweights Barcelona and Juventus discarded several aging squad members and recruited fresher, more youthful prospects. Ronald Koeman and Andrea Pirlo, both of whom represented their current clubs during their playing careers, are looking to get their former teams back to their best.

Both managers have begun their respective rebuild projects by implementing squad overhauls, going about a similar general theme of 'out with the old, in with the new'.

Swedish forward Dejan Kulusevski signed for Juve in January, effective from the start of this season. Kulusevski, 20, arrived from Atalanta for €35M; he spent last season on loan at Parma and was awarded Best Young Player in Serie A.

USA international midfielder Weston McKennie, 22, was signed from Schalke on a year-long contract with obligation to make his move permanent next year for €18,5M.

Álvaro Morata returned to the Bianconeri on a year-long loan; the Spanish striker had played together with Pirlo, 41, during the 2014-15 season.

Juve later signed Federico Chiesa, 22, on a two-year loan with obligation to buy the Italian winger for €40M thereafter.

The Italian champions offloaded central midfielder Miralem Pjanić, 30, to Barcelona in a swap-deal which saw Arthur Melo, 24, moving in the opposite direction.

Veteran forward Gonzalo Higuaín and 33-year-old World Cup winner Blaise Matuidi both left Turin on free transfers and joined MLS team Inter Miami, founded and operated by David Beckham.

Likewise, Barça parted ways with a handful of squad players from yesteryear.

Luis Suárez, 33, had his contract terminated prematurely; the Uruguayan left the club with a compensation package and subsequently signed for Atlético Madrid on a 2-year deal.

Arturo Vidal moved to Antonio Conte's Inter Milan on a free transfer; the 33-year-old Chilean returned to Serie A having played under Conte at Juventus from 2011-2014.

Ivan Rakitić, 32, rejoined former club Sevilla, costing just €1,5M.

Portuguese defender Nélson Semedo left for Wolves, signing at the Molineux until 2023 for a €30M fee.

Barça signed Portugal winger Francisco Trincão, 20, for €31M from Sporting Braga.

Dutch-born USA international Sergiño Dest, 19, moved from Ajax for an initial fee of €22M.

Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho returned to La Blaugrana following a fruitful loan spell at Bayern Munich last season.

Lionel Messi had allegedly made it clear to club president Josep Bartomeu of his desires to leave Barça, however the Catalan club demanded €700M from any prospective buyer(s) interested in their 33-year-old captain.

It was agreed that Messi would see out the remaining year of his contract, albeit will the iconic Argentine be in for a sour swansong at the Camp Nou?

Messi has been widely linked with a move to Manchester City, more particularly a reunion with Pep Guardiola who went about his annual spending spree.

Man City bought Ferran Torres, 20, to fill the void vacated by Leroy Sané.

Guardiola, yet again, splashed the cash on defensive signings as Nathan Aké joined from relegated Bournemouth in a deal worth €45M. The Netherlands international came in, ideally, as cover for the injury-prone Aymeric Laporte.

Rúben Dias, 23, also arrived in Manchester for a €68M fee; the Portuguese centre-back signed with City until June 2026 in a deal which saw Nicolás Otamendi, 32, depart to Benfica.

Since taking over the City hot-seat in 2016, Guardiola has spent a whopping €450M on nine defenders.

Tottenham Hotspur initially signed three PL-proven players for a combined fee of €33M. Matt Doherty moved from Wolves, while Pierre-Emile Højbjerg was part of a swap-deal which saw Kyle Walker-Peters join Southampton. Doherty and Højbjerg joined with a combined 184 PL appearances.

Joe Hart also signed at the New White Hart Lane after his contract at Burnley ended; Hart is a two-time PL winner and a four-time recipient of the Golden Glove from his time at Man City.

Spurs later moved for Sergio Reguilón, 23, of Real Madrid. The defender arrived for a reported €31M fee, with Spurs capturing the Spanish international from right under the noses of Man Utd.

Ex-star Gareth Bale made a sensational return to north London on a season-long loan, seven years after the Welshman moved to Madrid for a then-world record fee of €100M.

Towards the end of the window, Spurs secured the loan signing of Brazilian forward Carlos Vinícius from Benfica.

Carlo Ancelotti, meanwhile, played his cards at getting the band back together – acquiring the services of former players Allan and James Rodríguez from Napoli and Real Madrid, respectively.

Everton also signed Abdoulaye Doucouré to complete a new-look engine room at Goodison Park with a glamorous midfield trio which reportedly cost below €50M.

The Toffees later swayed 22-year-old defender Ben Godfrey from Norwich for €22M, and goalkeeper Robin Olsen on a season-long loan from Roma.

Aston Villa recruited several key players for an accumulative €83M. The Villains brought in 'keeper Emi Martinez from Arsenal, together with defender Matty Cash, Burkina Faso wide-man Bertrand Traoré and EFL Champiosnhip top scorer Ollie Watkins, 24.

The Villains later signed Ross Barkley on-loan from Chelsea.

Villa's biggest coup of the window was, undoubtedly, tying down captain and talisman Jack Grealish, 25, to a new long-term contract.

Chelsea were perhaps the most economic club during this transfer season. Frank Lampard and Roman Abramovich invested wisely with aim to make up for last year's transfer embargo which largely hindered progress under the 42-year-old former Blues' skipper.

Their value-for-money recruitment commenced before the end of last season, signing superstars Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech for less than €95M combined.

Chelsea signed three defenders, two of them on free transfers. French centre-half Malang Sarr came in along with stalwart Thiago Silva, 36, who brings with him heaps of both leadership and experience into Lampard's backline.

Ben Chilwell switched from Leicester City for €55M.

German star Kai Havertz arrived at Stamford Bridge for a club-record fee, penning a 5-year contract. Edouard Mendy was the club's final acquisition, as the Senegalese ‘goalie joined from Rennes.

Chelsea's transfer fee per player, on average, was €36M.

Transfers across Europe worth considerably high fees include Victor Osimhen leaving Lille for Napoli in a deal initially worth around 70M.

Before moving to Juventus on-loan, Álvaro Morata signed for Atlético Madrid on a 3-year contract, joining from Chelsea for €55M.

Arsenal activated the €50M release clause in Thomas Partey's Atlético Madrid contract; the Ghanaian midfielder signed a long-term contract at Emirates Stadium.

€50M also saw Mauro Icardi join PSG until 2024.

German international Leroy Sané joined European Champions Bayern Munich on a 5-year deal, costing €45M.

Some high-profile deals with less exuberant price tags saw Inter Milan capture the signing of Achraf Hakimi, 21, from Real Madrid for €40M. A similar fee was paid by Man Utd to complete the signing of Donny van de Beek from Ajax; United also shipped in full-back Alex Telles from Porto for €15M.

Liverpool arguably bagged the bargain of the window by luring Thiago Alcântara from Bayern for €30M; the Reds also signed Diogo Jota, 23, from Wolves for €44M. Leaving Anfield was 20-year-old forward Rhian Brewster, who joined Sheffield Utd for a €26M fee.

Atlético Madrid re-signed Yannick Carrasco for €27M; the Belgian scored 23 goals during his stint at the club from 2015-2018.

Arsenal bought 22-year-old Brazilian defender Gabriel Magalhães for €26M.

Roma signed defender Chris Smalling from Man Utd in a deal worth up to €20M.

Following a disastrous swap-deal in 2018 (aka the worst, ever), Alexis Sánchez and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, both 31, secured permanent deals in Serie A after loan spells in Italy last season; Sánchez returned to Inter Milan and, similarly, Mkhitaryan to Roma.

Other noteworthy free transfers include Man City icon David Silva, 34, returning to his native Spain to join Real Sociedad on a 2-year contract.

Willian, 32, swapped the blue side of London for red, as the Brazilian winger signed for Arsenal until 2023.

Edinson Cavani, 33, signed at Old Trafford until the end of this season, with the option of a further year.

Cavani's ex-PSG teammate Thomas Meunier signed for Borussia Dortmund on a 4-year deal, while Meunier's Belgian countryman Jan Vertonghen signed on the dotted line for Benfica after leaving Spurs.

World Cup winner Mario Gotze, 28, signed for Dutch outfit PSV Eindhoven.

There were a handful of loan deals that took place as Milan signed Sandro Tonali, 20, on a season-long loan with view on a €30M permanent move for the Italian international next year. The Rossoneri also loaned in Brahim Díaz from Real Madrid, and Diogo Dalot from Man Utd.

Real Madrid sent out midfielder Dani Ceballos to Arsenal for a second consecutive loan spell, and 18-year-old Brazilian forward Reinier to Dortmund on a two-year loan.

Bayern welcomed back winger Douglas Costa, the Brazilian signed on a season-long loan with no option to buy.

Porto signed Brazilian playmaker Felipe Anderson and defender Malang Sarr, from West Ham and Chelsea, respectively.

PSG acquired Porto midfielder Danilo Pereira with option to buy for €16M next year, while Moise Kean joined from Everton on a simple year-long loan.

The French champions loaned out ‘keeper Alphonse Areola to Fulham, who also signed former Everton man Ademola Lookman and Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek – all until June 2021.

Atlético Madrid signed Arsenal's Lucas Torreira with option to buy for €21M in June 2021, while Napoli acquired Tiémoué Bakayoko from Chelsea on a simple season-long loan.

Club-record signings set during the window include:

- Aston Villa (Ollie Watkins, 24, €31M)

- Chelsea (Kai Havertz, 21, €79M)

- Leeds Utd (Rodrigo Moreno, 29, €30M)

- Napoli (Victor Osimhen, 21, €70M)

- Sheff Utd (Rhian Brewster, 20, €26M)

- West Brom (Grady Diangana, 22, €20M)*

- Wolves (Fabio Silva, 18, €40M)

*West Brom initially paid €13M for Diangana, however this may still rise to a club-record fee.

Premier League clubs spent in excess of €1,3 billion during the 2020 summer transfer season.

Despite initial fears of the hindrance caused by the global pandemic, it seems as if most clubs managed to handle business as usual ahead of the 2020/21 football season.

Considering the compacted schedules approaching next year, it remains to be seen who has conducted the smartest business in the market.

The English domestic window remains open until 16 October.

As it stands, the January transfer season will go ahead as per usual.

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