These clubs dominated the news this summer but for contrasting reasons.
Every now and then, there comes a transfer window that transforms the whole football landscape beyond recognition. You would be lying if you deny remembering the transfer window Real Madrid had in the summer of 2009. The acquisition of Cristiano Ronaldo, Xabi Alonso, Karim Benzema and Kaka created a huge buzz and for all the right reasons.
Since then, some windows came close to that hype, but not as much as that of the summer of 2017. We all had a notion that something big was going to happen. There were a lot of hot properties in the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Romelu Lukaku, Alvaro Morata, James Rodriguez and many more but the highlight of the window was the transfer of Neymar to Paris Saint Germain for a whopping €222 million. Alongside PSG, there were many clubs who were pretty busy this transfer window.
The likes of Everton and AC Milan have practically overhauled their whole squad in this window alone, displaying a solid statement of their ambitions for this coming season. The financial repercussions of these activities are immense. A total of £3.75b has been looted on players across Europe, an all time record.
All in all, this transfer window was an unforgettable experience and we cannot be more blessed to have witnessed this madness in our lifetime. For many clubs, their bank balance has taken a heavy hit, whereas a few have made a fortune by selling their stars. We present you the highest spending and earning clubs of this transfer window.
Paris Saint Germain-Net Spend: £158.40m
How can one talk about the biggest spenders and not think of the Paris club? The club is known for keeping its players financially sound and have a history of making huge transfers, Edinson Cavani, Thiago Silva, Angel Di Maria to name a few. The Qatari owned outfit made Neymar leave his beloved Barcelona for a fee that smashed the transfer world record into oblivion, adding to it the signing of Mbappe on a loan with an option to buy for £166m to circumvent Financial Fair Play regulations. Now, they boast one of the best squads to challenge for the Champions League.
In order to somewhat balance the books there were also some departures from the French capital. Two players who were thought to be important to the system became surplus to requirements quite recently. Serge Aurier went to Tottenham Hotspur on Deadline Day, whereas Blaise Matuidi left for Juventus.
AC Milan-Net Spend: £149.97m
The Rossoneri came down to business much early than any of the teams in Europe. Backed by new Chinese owners, they have bagged as many as 10 players, including two loan deals. The highlight of their transfers was the acquisition of Leonardo Bonucci, a natural leader of men. Practically speaking, they have assembled a playing XI to challenge for the title in the coming years.
A.C. Milan have made a promising start to the season
The only major departure was the sale of right-back Mattia De Sciglio to Juventus. Vincenzo Montella has made it clear with the transfers and his start to the season that he intends to challenge the dominance of Juventus in Italy.
Manchester United-Net Spend: £140.31m
Surprised enough? Where are the other huge spenders? Chelsea? Manchester City? Let us spill the beans for you. Manchester United bought just three players for an extensive amount of £147.96m, Lukaku being the third costliest player. Jose Mourinho is one of the most shrewd managers when it comes to transfers. He streamlines his demands with appropriate prospects and their alternatives as well. Despite not making the fourth signing, United Chief Executive Ed Woodward is believed to have satisfied Mourinho with just three transfers this summer.
Adnan Januzaj, after many loan spells, has finally left the club permanently. His sale of £7.65m was the only trade out of Old Trafford, which sees the net spending of the Red Devils bypass that of the likes of Chelsea and City. Wayne Rooney also went out, but the details of the deal is still not out.
The Fire Sale
AS Monaco- Net Income: £67.95m
When a team unexpectedly wins a league or a tournament against all odds, then the club is bound to face a lot of transfer attention on its players. The board is often overwhelmed with the attraction of big money deals and always ends up selling their stars. AS Monaco sold three of the most pivotal players for a combined £132.75m to English clubs, stretching the total income further, with more sales worth £159.75m.
Manager Leonardo Jardim did not sit idle and certainly did not lose his cool after the destruction of his team. He bought quite a few promising players to fill the boots. However, it remains to be seen whether the French champions can cope with the losses and contend for titles both domestically and in Europe.
Borussia Dortmund- Net Income: £76.95m
Both Mor and Dembele left Dortmund for greener pastures
Just after the departure of Neymar, Barcelona got active in the market in search of a worthy replacement. It was a bit theatrical of them to go for young French prodigy Dembele. After much speculation, they bought him for £94.5m. Another £55m in sales also followed at the German heavyweights.
They bought six more players, including the deadline day transfer of young English prodigy, Jadon Sancho, from Manchester City. Borussia Dortmund are known for nurturing the best young talent on the continent and it will be interesting to see if they can do the same with their current crop of youngsters.
Real Madrid-Net Income: £68.85m
That’s right, one of the traditional big spenders is in the sellers’ list. So, let’s let the cat out of the bag now. Real Madrid have a great squad and it’s clearly visible that they don’t need any marquee signings. But, there were players who were anxious not to be on the bench in a World Cup year. This saw the departure of Danilo and Morata permanently and Rodriguez on a two-year loan to Bayern Munich.
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The transfer policy of Real has changed over the years. They are down to buying young prospects, nurturing them to reach their potential and shine. All three of Los Blancos’ signings this summer are under the age of 20, providing evidence of their change in approach.