Having taken a look at the English Premier League to begin with, we now move on to three of the top leagues in Europe – Spain’s La Liga, Italy’s Serie A and the German Bundesliga. There have been a plethora of free transfers, some big moves and plenty of wheeling and dealing, with sides such as Parma and Verona’s signing figures into double digits. We start with Spain.
La Liga – Spain
Barcelona have arguably pulled off the coup of the summer so far, with Brazilian Superstar Neymar coming in for around £40-45m, which is their only business so far. Real Madrid have been equally impressive, if not more so. Wonderkid Isco has joined from troubled Malaga for around £27m. To add to Isco, they have also signed Brazilian Midfielder Casemiro after a successful loan spell, Daniel Carvajal from Leverkusen (Both £6m) and one of last seasons’ best youngsters, Asier Illarramendi from Real Socidedad for around the £34m mark.
Although Atletico Madrid have lost Falcao to Monaco for £51m, they have struck an amazing deal with Barcelona to sign David Villa, for £4.4m – that’s not a typo! Martin Demichelis has also signed on at Atletico, on a free transfer from Malaga. Valencia have done very little business, only the signing of Nelson Valdez for £3m and an unknown Uruguayan are all they have to show so far. Athletico Bilbao have made two good signings, Kike Sola for £3.5m and Benat Etxebarria from Betis for around £7m.
Sevilla have lost a good deal of their best players, with Alvaro Negredo about to leave and Jesus Navas gone – they must bring in some quality players to replace them. So far, they have Marko Marin on loan from Chelsea, Vitolo (£2.5m), Romanian top scorer Raul Rusescu from Steaua Bucharest (£1.4m) and Beto (£1.5m) – so they still have some way to go. Struggling Malaga have also lost several players, notably Isco and Jeremy Toulalon, and with their rich owner pulling out funding as well as losing Manuel Pellegrini – they need reinforcements. Sampdoria’s Fernando Tissone and Pacos Ferreira’s Antunes (Free/£1.3m) are all they have mustered up so far.
Lower down the league, there has also been some movement. Granada have purchased Yacine Brahimi for £3.5m, as well as ex-Barcelona and Man City winger Gai Assulin, Douglas Santos, Alvaro Garcia, Malaga’s Manuel Iturra Piti, Depor’s Riki and Ivan Kelava from Zagreb. Newly promoted Villarreal have picked up Giovani Dos Santos from relegated Mallorca and Jeremy Perbet from Mons for a little over £1m, as well as a few unknown free transfers from the Segunda Division. Celta Vigo, who have sold top scorer Iago Aspas to Liverpool, have replaced him with Benfica and ex-Barcelona Striker Nolito for £2m, as well as picking up Barca’s Andreu Fontas for under £1m
Levante have been the busiest, with no fewer than 7 free transfers coming in, most notably Andreas Ivanschitz. Elche have also been busy, with 6 signings, the pick of which are Manu de Moral on loan from Sevilla and David Lomban from Barcelona. Espanyol have purchased 3 players on free’s, and Getafe have made Pedro Leon’s loan move permanent from Real Madrid.
Serie A – Italy
Inter have been busy after a very poor season – Starlet Mauro Icardi has joined from Sampdoria for £10m, Matias Silvestre has come in for £4m. Hugo Campagnaro, Marco Andreaoli and Ruban Botta have all joined on free transfers. Rising star Ishak Belfodil has joined in a co-ownership deal from Parma, 5 year deal at a cost of £6m. City rivals AC Milan have been quiet, with two signings – Cristian Zapata coming in from Villarreal for around £4m and Andrea Poli from Sampdoria for £2m.
Champions Juventus have made two signings, Federico Peluso making his switch permanent for £4m and Carlos Tevez has joined for a bargain of a deal, £10m. With Napoli set to lose Edison Cavani for near £50m to PSG, they have made four very good signings. Jose Callejon has joined from Real Madrid for £8m, Belgian star Dries Mertens has come in for £7.5m. Udinese defender Pablo Armero (£2m) and Hadjuk’s Josep Radosevic (£1m) sum up their business so up until now. Despite the signing of Gomez, it seems they want another, with a £20m bid being accepted for Leandro Damiao in the last few days, if reports are to be believed.
Fiorentina have signed Champions League winning striker Mario Gomez for £13m, one of the deals of the summer so far. Add Juan Cuadrado (£4m) ex-Malaga and Valencia star Joaquin (£1m), Marcos Alonso on loan from Bolton and veteran Massimo Ambrosini (Free), they are sitting pretty, but rumours are circulating that Stevan Jovetic could be off very soon for an around £21m. Roma have made three signings, Mattia Destro, who they paid £9m for last season to have for a season, with an option to buy his rights for £3m at the end of the deal, which they have exercised. Mehdi Benatia has joined from Udinese for around £12m, which could spell the end for Marquinhos, who is interesting Barcelona and PSG. The final deal is for Kevin Strootman, who has joined from PSV for around £15m
Lazio have bought 3 players so far, Felipe Anderson joining from Santos for £5m, Antonio Candreva for £1m and Bryan Perea for £800k. Newly promoted Verona have been busy, buying 12 players, including Luca Toni (Fiorentina), Massimo Donati (Palermo), Michelangelo Albertazzi (AC Milan) and Matteo Bianchetti (Inter) – the pick of the buys. Sassuolo, also recently promoted, have signed just the 6 – Romanian 2nd top scorer Marius Alexe has joined on a season long loan with an option of a permanent move and Genoa’s Francesco Acerbi again the pick of the deals. Torino have bought in four very good players at a low cost – Matteo Brighi from Roma, Cesare Bovo from Genoa, Alexander Farnerud from Young Boys (£1.3m) and keeper Danielle Padelli from Udinese.
Sampdoria have lost several key members of their first team, but only have Michele Fornasier (Free) from Man Utd to show so far, as well as Pawel Wszolek from Polonia Warsaw. Udinese have been up to their usual business, buying young talent from across the globe, with two Brazilians and two Croats coming in, as well as Bruno Fernandes. Genoa have signed three players – Giovanni Marchese (Free), Sebastien De Maio (Free) and Panagiotis Tachtsidis for £2.5m. Bologna have signed some decent players, including Forward Rolando Bianchi on a free transfer from Torino; Romanian forward Denis Alibec on loan from Inter Milan; Defender Angelo Gregorio from Pontedera and promising French midfielder Abdallah Yaisien on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain.
Bundesliga – Germany
The Bundesliga has perhaps been one of the busiest league’s so far, with every team making several first team signings. Let’s begin with the top four from last season:
Bayern have made two huge signings, Mario Gotze from Dortmund for £35m and recently Thiago Alcantara from Barcelona for £25m, ending weeks of speculation about going to Man Utd – to add to that Jan Kirchoff has joined from Mainz on a free transfer. Dortmund have gone about replacing Gotze and eventually Lewandowski very well, who is said to be joining Bayern Munich next summer – Henrikh Mkhitaryan, one of the stars at Shakhtar, has joined in a deal worth £25m, turning down Liverpool in the process. Pierre Emerick Aubameyang has joined from Saint Etienne for £13m after he had a brilliant season in France – also spurning the advances of the likes of Newcastle and Anzhi. Perhaps a name Paul Merson will struggle with, Sokratis Papastathopoulos has also signed for the Champions League finalists for £9.5m.
Leverkusen and Schalke next – Bayer finished 3rd last season, and despite losing star man Andre Shurrle, they have replaced well. Heung Min Son has joined from Hamburg for £10m, Guilio Donati has come in from Italy for £3m – add Andres Palop and Emir Spahic from Sevilla for free’s – not a bad summer so far for them. Schalke have done well so far. Ex-Madrid striker, Adam Szalai has joined in a deal worth £8m from Mainz, Rising star Leon Goretzka has left Bochum for the German top four side and Felipe Santana has come in for £1m from Dortmund.
Further down you have last seasons’ surprise packages, Freiburg and Frankfurt. The former have signed well so far, with Monchengladbach striker Mike Hanke coming in for no fee, Vaclav Pilar and Christopher Jullien joining for small fee’s and Arsenal Midfielder Frances Coquelin joining on loan, as well as Ex-Man City player Gilson Fernandes also signing. Frankfurt has strengthened with several low budget players, such as Jan Rosenthal, Joel, Johannes Flume and Stephan Schrock.
Newly promoted duo Hertha Berlin and Eintracht Braunschweig have been less busy than some, with Hertha just buying two first team players so far, in Kaiserslautern’s Alexander Baumjohann and a lesser known player. Eintracht a tad more, with Simeon Jackson coming in from Norwich, Omar Elabdellauoi moving permanently from Man City, Oehrl from Augsburg and Marco Caliguiri signing from Mainz. Wolfsburg have also been rather quiet, only Timm Klose joining for £6m from Nurnburg.
Other teams who have only brought in the odd one or two are Borrusia Monchengladbach, Hannover and Hoffenheim. Monchengladbach have purchased just two, Max Kruse and Raffael. Hannover – Leonardo Bittencourt from Dortmund for £3m and Salif Sane from Nancy for an undisclosed fee. Hoffenheim – Tarik Elyanoussi from Rosenborg
and Igor de Camargo. Werder Bremen have also just brought in a couple so far, Luca Caldirola from Milan and Nils Petersen from Bayern, both £3m.
Hamburg have signed Johan Djourou from Arsenal on loan as well as Lasse Sabiech and Jacques Zoua for nominal fee’s. Stuttgart have done some astute business, and possibly the bargain of the summer – Mohamed Abdelloue from Hannover for just £3.5m as well as Daniel Schwaab, Marco Rojas, Thorsten Kirschbaum, Gotoku Sakai, Konstantin Rausch and Dortmund’s Moritz Leitner for free transfers. Nurnberg have done well so far, buying Dortmund’s Daniel Ginczek and Nick Weber, Mariusz Stepinski, Zurich’s Josip Drnic, ex-Middlesbrough Hard-man Emmanuel Pogatetz and Arsenal youth player Martin Angha, all for free transfers.
The last two sides to mention are Augsburg and Mainz. Mainz have lost several key players so to replace well is key to how their season goes. Shinji Okazaki has come in to replace Adam Szalai, Rising star Johannes Geis, Christopher Moritz, Koch, and Dani Schahin have arrived from various clubs. Augsburg did well to avoid relegation and have brought in two very good players in teen se Raphael Holzhauser on loan from Stuttgart and Panagiotis Vlachodimos from Olympiakos. Mathaus Fetsch and Marvin Hitz have also come in on free transfers