Paris, France | AFP |
The 10 biggest moves during the European summer transfer window, which closed on Wednesday:
Juventus to Manchester United, 89 million pounds (105 million euros, $116 million)
The summer’s most long-running transfer saga concluded with France midfielder Pogba returning to former club United in a world-record move. Allowed to leave Old Trafford in 2012 after failing to win over legendary manager Alex Ferguson, the rangy 23-year-old midfielder with the dazzling haircuts and blistering shot returned as one of the biggest names in the game.
Napoli to Juventus, 90 million euros ($98.8m)
Italian champions Juventus dealt a huge blow to their domestic rivals when they signed the 28-year-old Argentina striker Higuain from Napoli, their closest rivals in Serie A last season. Juve paid Napoli close to the full amount of Higuain’s 94.7 million-euro buyout clause for the former Real Madrid player, who broke the long-standing Serie A scoring record with 36 goals last season. Signed on a five-year deal, Higuain came off the bench to score the winner against Fiorentina on his competitive debut.
Everton to Manchester City, 47.5 million pounds ($61 million)
Elegant centre-back Stones, 22, became the biggest signing of the Pep Guardiola era at City after joining from Everton in a deal that made him the second most expensive defender in history behind David Luiz. The former Barnsley player had a difficult final season at Everton, but has looked assured in his early outings for City, regularly stepping up into midfield with the ball.
Sporting Lisbon to Inter Milan, 45 million euros ($50.3 million)
It has been a summer of rebuilding at Inter, who have a new coach in Frank de Boer and several big-money new signings. The biggest is Joao Mario, who arrived at the San Siro from Sporting fresh from winning Euro 2016 with Portugal. Sporting revealed the transfer fee was 45 million euros and the player, a Sporting youth product, was unveiled to Inter fans before last Sunday’s Serie A match against Palermo.
Schalke (GER) to Manchester City, 37 million pounds ($48 million)
Winger Sane, 20, arrived in England with a burgeoning reputation, having scored eight goals in 33 Bundesliga appearances for Schalke last season and earned a place in Germany’s Euro 2016 squad. Sidelined to date by a hamstring injury, he could make his debut in the derby against Manchester United on September 10.
Borussia Moenchengladbach (GER) to Arsenal, 35 million pounds ($46 million)
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger moved to address longstanding concerns about the lack of bite in his team’s midfield by sanctioning a big-money move for Switzerland international Xhaka. The 23-year-old’s arrival obliged England international Jack Wilshere to seek a loan move elsewhere.
Valencia (ESP) to Arsenal, 35 million pounds ($46 million)
With Per Mertesacker and Gabriel sidelined by injury, Wenger plugged a sizeable gap in his back line with a move for Germany centre-back Mustafi on the penultimate day of the window. Mustafi, 24, previously spent three years at Everton, but made just one senior appearance.
Welcome back, @DavidLuiz_4!
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) August 31, 2016
Paris Saint-Germain to Chelsea, 34 million pounds
The shaggy-haired Brazilian’s deadline-day return to Chelsea was one of the biggest surprises of the transfer window, after PSG paid £50 million to make him the world’s most expensive defender just two years earlier. However, Luiz, 29, was tipped to lose his place to compatriot Marquinhos at PSG, and has returned to Stamford Bridge for a reported fee of around £34 million.
Southampton to Liverpool, 34 million pounds ($44.7 million)
Following two fine seasons with Southampton, during which he scored 25 goals in all competitions, 24-year-old Senegal flier Mane left St Mary’s to join Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool revolution. He has made an impressive start to life at Anfield, netting a fine solo goal in Liverpool’s 4-3 win at Arsenal on the opening day.
Marseille (FRA) to Chelsea, 33.2 million pounds ($43.5 million)
A cunning and unorthodox striker, 22-year-old Belgium international Batshuayi moved to Chelsea following a prolific season at Marseille in which he scored 23 goals. Used mainly from the bench so far, he has scored three goals in four appearances.