The 2023 transfer window is upon us, and the biggest clubs in world football are moving fast to secure their targets ahead of the new season, in order to get their squad finalised as soon as possible.
In an ideal world, teams get all of their desired transfers over the line for the beginning of July, ready to hit the ground running in pre-season. Also in an ideal world, I’d have won the lottery a few times over and already retired in the sun, cruising around on one of those hoverboards from Back to the Future.
News flash – beggars can’t be choosers. It’s not all that often that teams get their business done early, meaning we as fans are treated to a good few months of transfer madness.
But while we’re all focused on the big names and the sagas that dominate the headlines, dragging on for weeks on end, plenty of transfers slip under the radar.
Fear not, as we’ve compiled a list of exactly that kind of transfer you might have missed this summer.
The former Crystal Palace goalkeeper joined Manchester United on loan in January 2023 to provide cover, with Martin Dubravka returning to Newcastle.
A dream move that unfortunately wasn’t made permanent, Butland did so knowing his Palace contract was set to expire this summer. He’s since completed a permanent move to Scottish side Rangers on a free transfer.
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) June 6, 2023
In a deal that appears to have been agreed since January, Laimer has made the switch from RB Leipzig to Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.
The Austrian midfielder has long been linked with a move to a top side, with the Premier League often touted as a potential destination, but had his head turned by Die Roten with his contract running out.
It has been announced for some time that Keita would conclude an overall disappointing spell at Liverpool by leaving this summer upon the expiry of his contract, but his next club was largely unknown.
Injuries severely disrupted his time at Anfield after signing from RB Leipzig in 2018, with the Reds happy to let his contract expire as a result. Keita has found himself heading back to Germany, this time signing for Werder Bremen.
Heading back to where it all started, Spanish left-back Garcia impressed enough for Rayo Vallecano to convince former employers Real Madrid to activate his buyback clause.
The 23-year-old managed five goal contributions in La Liga last season and has returned to Los Blancos for a fee of just €5m, on a deal until 2027. Bargain.
Bournemouth parted with some €30m to sign Lerma from Levante back in 2018, who has seen the club drop into the Championship and played a part in helping them back into the top flight.
But their club-record signing in 2018 was out of contract this summer, and has since agreed to join Crystal Palace on a free transfer ahead of next season.