Once again this summer, Premier League spending looks set to be higher than ever – but what transfer business have Europe’s other leading clubs done so far?
Manchester United have stumped up £75m for Romelu Lukaku, while neighbours Manchester City have caught the eye by paying £54m for full-back Kyle Walker, but which of their rivals on the Continent have been busy?
Andrew Dickson takes a look at the transfer activity at some of Europe’s other leading teams to see how the figures stack up…
Having won Serie A for the sixth year in a row, claimed the Coppa Italia for the third season in succession and reached the Champions League final, it’s not a huge surprise Juventus haven’t made many squad changes this summer. The arrival of winger Douglas Costa on loan from Bayern Munich with the option to buy for £35.4m was an eye-catching move but the £8m capture of 19-year-old Uruguayan midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur from Boca Juniors is equally intriguing. Defender Medhi Benatia has also come in from Bayern for £15.2m.
Of those leaving, Dani Alves is the most notable following his free transfer move to PSG. Goalkeeper Neto has also gone to Valencia for £6.2m but the biggest departure is likely to be Leonardo Bonucci once he completes his protracted transfer to AC Milan.
Even discounting the deal which will bring Bonucci to the San Siro from Juve and possible moves for Renato Sanches and Alvaro Morata, Milan look like being among Europe’s biggest spenders this summer following their disappointing sixth-place finish last season. Former Chelsea target Hakan Calhanoglu has arrived from Bayern Leverkusen for a reported £17.5m, Portuguese striker Andre Silva has completed a £32.7m switch from Porto and Atalanta defender Andrea Conti cost another £21.25m.
Throw in a string of other purchases including those of Mateo Musacchio from Villarreal, Wolfsburg’s Ricardo Rodriguez and Lazio midfielder Lucas Biglia and Milan have already parted with more than £150m this summer. Another signing of note is that of Antonio Donnarumma, the older brother of highly-rated goalkeeper Gianluigi. Another keeper, he was previously at Greek side Asteras Tripolis.
Gerard Deulofeu was the highest-profile player moving on as the Spaniard returned to parent club Everton before re-joining Barcelona. Many of the others leaving Milan have been youth players but the sales of veteran goalkeeper Diego Lopez to Espanyol and Juraj Kucka to Trabzonspor, along with the money brought in for Luca Vido and Matteo Pessina’s moves to Atalanta, have recouped Milan almost £9m.
While Deulofeu’s move back to the Nou Camp two years after he was transferred to Everton raised eyebrows, that deal doesn’t stand as Barcelona’s biggest of the summer. Instead, that honour currently falls to right-back Nelson Semedo, who has joined from Benfica for a fee thought to be more than £26m. After spending much of his year-long loan in Catalonia in Barca’s B side, defender Marlon Santos has also been signed from Fluminense and been promoted to the senior side.
As it stands, Barcelona have only trimmed their squad slightly under new manager Ernesto Valverde, with striker Cristian Tello joining Real Betis for £3.5m and French international defender Jeremy Mathieu – a £19m signing from Valencia three years ago – moving for free to Sporting Lisbon, who have inserted a £52m release clause in his contract. Valverde has said he is happy with his squad as it is so any more purchases or departures are unlikely.
One of the most surprising moves of the summer has seen Real go to their city rivals Atletico Madrid to sign defender Theo Hernandez. The 19-year-old had not even played a first-team game for Atletico but impressed in a loan spell at Alaves last season and that was the catalyst for a £22.8m switch across the Spanish capital. Real’s only other major signing to date has been that of Real Betis’ Spain U21 midfielder Dani Ceballos, who moved from the Estadio Benito Villamarin for a more modest fee but has reportedly had a release fee of around £440m inserted into his contract.
Pepe heads up the departures from the Bernabeu, with the 34-year-old joining Turkish side Besiktas under freedom of contract following a decade with Real. James Rodriguez has joined Bayern Munich on a two-year loan after failing to establish himself as a regular in Zinedine Zidane’s team while Mariano, Diego Llorente and Burgui have moved to Lyon, Real Sociedad and Alaves respectively for a combined £15m.
The deal to bring Rodriguez to Germany on loan for the next two seasons hasn’t been the only big piece of business by Bayern this summer. They have also spent a huge £35.2m on Lyon midfielder Corentin Tolisso and another £18.7m to recruit another French international, the exciting winger Kingsley Coman, from Juventus after a successful loan spell. Hoffenheim pair Niklas Sule and Sebastian Rudy – both German internationals – have signed while another, former Arsenal winger Serge Gnabry, joined from Werder Bremen before being loaned out to Hoffenheim.
As well as Douglas Costa, defender Medhi Benatia has gone to Juventus on a permanent deal for £15.2m after spending last term there on loan. Also notable is the loss of two of the team’s most experienced players to retirement, with Xabi Alonso and Philipp Lahm both calling time on their playing careers.
Bayern’s Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund have been relatively quiet in the market so far, with new manager Peter Bosz making just three significant signings. All have arrived from other German clubs, with defender Omer Toprak (Bayer Leverkusen) and midfield pair Mahmoud Dahoud (Borussia Monchengladbach) and Maximilian Philipp (Freiburg) costing a total of £38.5m. Nobody has left yet but Dortmund’s prized possession is undoubtedly Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and he has been identified as a transfer target for Chelsea – with a fee of around £70m expected to be accepted by the Westfalenstadion side by whoever offers that.
Deposed French champions PSG are another team who have been slow movers up to now, with a move for Real Sociedad defender Yuri Berchiche and former Barcelona right-back Dani Alves their only arrivals so far. Despite scoring just twice in 28 previous appearances, forward Jean-Kevin Augustin has joined RB Leipzig for £11.6m while former Brazil international left-back Maxwell has retired.
After reaching the Champions League semi-finals and winning Ligue 1 for the first time in 17 years, it appears Monaco are now paying the price for their success as many of their best players are pursued by Europe’s leading clubs. They have already brought in £83m from the Premier League after selling Bernardo Silva to Manchester City and Tiemoue Bakayoko to Chelsea but are likely to at least double that figure if they agree a deal which sees highly-rated striker Kylian Mbappe leave the principality this summer. With Valere Germain joining Marseille, Nabil Dirar going to Fenerbahce and Thomas Lemar linked with Arsenal, Monaco could lose more than half their regulars from last season before the new campaign begins.
The Stade Louis II side have already begun reinvesting some of their profits, with £21.63m spent on Anderlecht’s Belgian Young Player of the Year Youri Tielemans despite Premier League interest and a further £11.4m invested in recruiting defender Terence Kongolo after he played his part in delivering Feyenoord’s first Eredivisie title since 1999.