The 17 signings made by European clubs this summer worth €30m+
Premier League clubs were responsible for seven of the 10 most expensive transfers this summer – but who have been the biggest-money signings outside of England?
Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United made the four most expensive signings of English clubs – Kepa, Riyad Mahrez, Alisson and Fred.
Ignoring Kylian Mbappé, who was the window’s most expensive signing at €180million having officially only been on loan at Paris Saint-Germain last season, here are the biggest transfers made by non-Premier League clubs.
Aged 33, Ronaldo joined Juventus in a €112million deal in July, remarkably surpassing the then-world-record £80milion Real Madrid had paid for him nine years previously.
Ronaldo said “usually players of my age go to Qatar or China,” but instead he wants to be Juve’s “lucky star” as they attempt to win the Champions League for the first time since 1996 having lost their last five final appearances.
He has failed to score in his first two appearances for Juve and even managed to miss an open goal against Lazio, taking absolutely no satisfaction from Mario Mandzukic saving his blushes.
— FBL (@FOOTBALRLIFE) August 26, 2018
In June, given permission by the French Football Federation, Atletico Madrid officials visited France’s World Cup base in Russia to tie Antoine Griezmann and Lucas Hernández to new contracts.
On the same, very productive, trip, they signed Lemar, too, having agreed a club-record $60million deal with Monaco a week earlier.
Lemar, 22, who had previously been the subject of interest from Arsenal and Liverpool, made his Atleti debut in the UEFA Super Cup win over Real Madrid, quickly adding a club medal to the World Cup one he had won earlier in the summer.
The winger has already described Diego Costa as “crazy”…
In 2017, when it was announced Real Madrid had agreed a $45million deal to sign a 17-year-old hardly anyone outside of Brazil had heard of, it’s fair to say eyebrows were raised. It made him the second most expensive Brazilian footballer of all time, behind Neymar.
Come July 2018, when the transfer was officially completed as Vinicius turned 18, that shock had turned to excitement. FInally we had the chance to see what the hype was all about.
Unfortunately, not many of us will get that chance. Rather than loan him out to a club in Europe or even give him a first-team chance themselves, Real have instead decided he will play for their Castilla side this season in the Spanish third tier.
The wait to actually see him play goes on.
The 20-year-old was certainly Barça’s most eye-catching arrival of the summer, joining for an initial €41million just a day after Roma announced they had agreed a deal to sign him from Bordeaux.
The Brazilian, who is yet to represent his country at senior level, scored 12 goals and set up a further seven in Ligue 1 last season, and made his competitive debut for Barça as a late substitute in their 1-0 win at Real Valladolid.
After a season spent on loan at Inter from Valencia, Cancelo in June joined Juventus for €40.4million.
The right-back did not make Portugal’s final squad for the World Cup, but Juve clearly saw something in the 24-year-old, who can also play on the wing, pointing out on their website that he created more chances than any other defender in Serie A and completed the most dribbles of any player in the league in the second half of last season.
‘In short, Massimiliano Allegri will have a young and attack-minded fullback at his disposal whose tactical flexibility will hopefully prove to be invaluable this coming season and beyond’, Juve concluded.
After a successful season on loan from Bayern Munich in which he contributed six goals and 14 assists, Costa completed a permanent, €40million, transfer to Juve in June.
The club’s ever-helpful website said: ‘During his debut campaign in Italy, Douglas Costa demonstrated an array of talents, not least his exceptional close control and pace to burn, making him a nightmare for opposition defenders dragged out wide to the touchline whenever Costa got the ball to feet.
‘Last season, he completed the most dribbles in Serie A (106) and whipped in over a century of crosses into the box. All the while, the Brazilian’s end product was of the highest consistency, providing the second most assists (14) across Italy’s top tier and creating 60 scoring opportunities in the process.’
Both he and Cancelo have started Juve’s two games in Serie A so far this season.
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) August 20, 2018
In another loan deal turned permanent, Guedes joined Valencia for €40million from PSG this week.
The Portugal winger was reported to be the subject of at least one bid from the Premier League, but the 21-year-old was always adamant that he wanted to rejoin Los Che and has now got his wish.
Guedes only joined PSG in January 2017 but was sent on loan after just half a season in Paris and has now moved to the Mestalla permanently after 38 appearances last season in which he contributed six goals and 11 assists.
A month after being left out of Belgium’s World Cup squad, Nainggolan was completing a move to Inter in a rare swap deal which saw Davide Santon and Nicolo Zaniolo head in the opposite direction to Roma, valuing the midfielder at €38million.
Inter sporting director Piero Ausilio described Nainggolan, who has regularly been linked with Premier League clubs, as a “real coup” for the club.
The 30-year-old clearly had mixed emotions to be leaving Roma, however, writing on Instagram: “Unfortunately fairytales come to an end, and not always by choice.”
He is yet to appear for his new club, remaining on the bench during their 2-2 draw against Torino last weekend.
It’s official! 📣✍@OfficialRadja
— Inter (@Inter_en) June 26, 2018
A graduate of Schalke’s prolific youth system, PSG paid €37million to sign Kehrer from last season’s Bundesliga runners-up earlier this month.
The centre-back, 21, started 27 games in the league for Schalke last season and drew praise from Eric Abidal shortly before he was confirmed as Barça’s new sporting director: “He has the qualities to play with us.”
Barça signed Clément Lenglet, however, with Kehrer instead moving to Paris on a five-year contract.
“I couldn’t think of a better club for me to continue my progression and reach my objectives,” the Germany Under-21 captain said upon completing his move.
Barcelona met Lenglet’s €35million release clause to sign the centre-back from Sevilla, but the Frenchman will, at least to begin with, act as back-up to Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti.
He effectively takes the place of Yerry Mina, who was sold to Everton. Upon signing the 23-year-old, who made 52 appearances for Sevilla last season, Barça described him as “one of the most promising defenders on the planet”.
A year after signing Caldara from Atalanta for €15million and allowing the centre-back to stay with his hometown club on loan, Juventus sold him to Milan in a straight swap with Leonardo Bonucci which valued both players at €35million.
“Bonucci has an immediate value, Mattia an immediate and future value,” Milan’s general manager Leonardo said of the deal.
Caldara didn’t make a single appearance for Juve, but Allegri admitted he was “sorry to see him go”, adding: “He is a very young professional, a very good one, but I’m sure that he will have a very good future.
“Unfortunately within the market we have to make some choices, and that’s what happened.”
On the same day, Milan announced they had signed Gonzalo Higuain on loan for the season…for €18million.
Latest indications from Italy are that Musacchio will start once again ahead of Caldara. Basically delaying the inevitable – once Caldara gets in he'll most likely be untouchable.
— Matteo Bonetti (@TheCalcioGuy) August 31, 2018
Milan only signed Bonucci from Juve in 2017, but one year and 51 appearances later they were willing to sacrifice him in order to land Caldara.
And Juve were more than happy to welcome back a club legend, who previously won six Serie A titles in Turin.
“Leonardo Bonucci comes back to us after a year: he is an important player and he has not changed,” Allegri said.
The move came six months after Gigi Buffon said he believed Bonucci was “very sorry” to have left the Bianconeri in the first place.
The 31-year-old has started both games for Juve so far this season, while Caldara is yet to appear for Milan.
Ending Real Madrid’s long hunt for a Premier League goalkeeper, Courtois moved to the Bernabeu for €35million on August 9, transfer deadline day for English clubs, with Mateo Kovacic heading in the opposite direction on loan.
Courtois described Real as “the best club in the world” upon joining and has quickly realised how prescient he was, starting the season on the bench behind fan favourite Keylor Navas.
— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) August 27, 2018
Arthur has joined Barcelona for an initial €31million from Gremio in Brazil and has been likened to Andres Iniesta, but at 22 and playing in Europe for the first time, he is sure to be eased into proceedings this season.
He made his debut as a late substitute against Alaves, wearing the No.8 shirt.
The €30m gang
Three players, meanwhile completed transfers for exactly €30m.
Spain Under-21 midfielder Fabian Ruiz joined Napoli on a five-year contract after helping Real Betis secure a Europa League place last season, while Real Madrid signed Álvaro Odriozola from Real Sociedad after a fine season which ended with the right-back heading to the World Cup with Spain.
Aleksandr Golovin, meanwhile, joined Monaco from CSKA Moscow after his impressive tournament.