Pogba leads record transfer spending
“Never go back” used to be the mantra for players looking for their next transfer. Try telling that to Manchester United and Paul Pogba after the world-record deal that saw United pay Juventus 105m for the French midfielder, who left England four years ago to join the Italian champions after declining to sign a new contract at Old Trafford.
Juventus also received 30m from Real Madrid, who exercised their buyback clause in the contract of Alvaro Morata, who left the Spanish capital for Juve in 2014 for 20m.
Chelsea sprung a surprise by re-signing Brazilian defender David Luiz from Paris Saint-Germain for 38.5m, having sold the 29-year-old to the French champions for 50m two years ago.
The Pogba money enabled Juventus to break the Italian transfer record with a 90m move for Gonzalo Higuain.
The size of the fee drew criticism in Italy but Juventus, who also brought in Bosnian Miralem Pjanic (Roma, 32m) and Croatian Marko Pjaca (Dinamo Zagreb,
23m) spent only 25m “netto” in strengthening their squad.
Premier League clubs, their wallets boosted by a new TV deal, spent more than £1.1billion on transfer fees, although the net figure was closer to £750m.
Roughly £365m of the £1.1bn was spent on existing Premier League players, suggesting that selling clubs had one price for sales to Premier League clubs and another, lower one for the rest of Europe.
But it was not just in England that money talks. Highly regarded teenager Oliver Burke, who had been linked with a number of Premier League clubs, became the most expensive Scottish player of all time following a 15m switch to Bundesliga new boys Red Bull Leipzig.
A number of Portugal’s Euro 2016 victorious squad were on the move, notably midfielder Joao Mario who left Sporting for Internazionale in a 40m deal, joining Raphael Guerreiro (Sochaux to Borussia Dortmund), Renato Sanches (Benfica to Bayern) and Nani (Fenerbahce to Valencia).
And it was not just about fees. Leading players were also available on free transfers, including Brazilian Dani Alves, who joined Juventus from Barcelona, while France keeper Steve Mandanda moved to Crystal Palace after leaving Marseille.
Ironically, Chelsea were priced out of a number of deals for central defenders with Italian clubs, such as Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly, with many citing Chelsea’s original
50m sale of Luiz to PSG as setting the benchmark for top-quality defenders.
Chelsea now have 37 players out on loan, including Juan Cuadrado at Juventus.
Other interesting loan deals included Simone Zaza (Juventus to West Ham United), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal to
Off-loaded...Samir Nasri has joined Sevilla