Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Transfer Updates


The summer's transfer window has closed and, despite the ongoing economic turmoil around the globe, some high-profile players have been on the move. The English Premier League's stringent new legislation on squad size has seen some of the league's top performers switch clubs while Italian teams were the busiest of any nation's during the summer. The top two in Spain continued to flex their financial muscles while the German Bundesliga welcomed, and waved goodbye to, a fair few star names.

Russia's Premier League showed its ability to attract star names and pay top dollar despite some underwhelming displays from its clubs on the continent. Meanwhile, Portuguese teams did more buying than selling while some surprising domestic transitions kept France's Ligue 1 ticking over. Turkey's wounded heavyhitters did their fair share of strengthening too. The World Cup provided a shop window for some of Central and South America's top talents and African representatives were also on the move. Moreover, European leagues turned again to Asia for talent. 2010-11 is shaping up to be more eclectic than ever; we'll bring you details of how all the new faces are settling in...

Top 5 buyers summer 2010/11 by gross spend

1. €146m - Manchester City
2. €81m - Real Madrid
3. €72m - Barcelona
5. €50m - Juventus
4. €48m - Zenit St. Petersburg*
Source used: Transfermarkt

*note: Zenit play a summer season - includes winter transfersEngland: No prizes for guessing which clubs proved to be the prime mover in the English transfer market. No club in the world spent more money than Manchester City, who welcomed a galaxy of star names, including David Silva, Mario Balotelli, Yaya Toure, Alexander Kolarov, Jerome Boateng and James Milner. City rivals Manchester United dipped into their depleting savings to sign World Cup star Javier Hernandez, as well as Chris Smalling and Bebe. Chelsea added Ramires, Yossi Benayoun, Tomas Kalac and removed Joe Cole, Michael Ballack, Deco, Belletti, Ricardo Carvalho and Miroslav Stoch, among others from their hefty wage bill. Arsene Wenger tweaked his Arsenal squad from a familiar source, adding Marouane Chamakh and Laurent Koscielny from Ligue 1. Sebastien Squillaci was also recruited. Le Prof also offloaded Eduardo to Shakhtar Donetsk. Liverpool may have lost Javier Mascherano but bought Christian Poulsen, Raul Meireles and Paul Konchesky, Danny Wilson and Jonjo Shelvey.

Other notable spenders were Sunderland, who brought in Asamoah Gyan as a replacement for Stoke City's Kenwyne Jones, while Tottenham Hotspur are still awaiting the results of a late swoop for Rafael van der Vaart. Spurs did manage to supplement their squad with Stipe Pletikosa and William Gallas. Moussa Dembele (Fulham), Mauro Boselli (Wigan) and Stephen Fletcher (Wolves) were also notable additions. Birmingham moved late, but moved well, supplementing the signing of Nicola Zigic with Aliaksandr Hleb and Martin Jiranek. Bolton Wanderers raided Real Madrid's cantera for Marcos Alonso and signed for Blanco Rodrigo. Martin Petrov could also prove to be good business.

Italy: AC Milan grab the headlines in Serie A with the acquisitions of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho, along with other key signings, like Kevin Prince Boateng. Juventus are seeking to spend their way back to Calcio's top table and have brought in Leonadro Bonucci, Fabio Quagliarella, Armand Traore, Simone Pepe, Milos Krasic, Jorge Martinez, Marco Storari, Alberto Aquilani and Marco Motta to help them. Inter were quiet, finalising Philippe Coutinho and bringing back Jonathan Biabany. Roma's tight purse strings contributed to a lean summer but Fabio Simplicio, Marco Borriello and Adriano were recruited and money was lavished on Nicolas Burdisso.

Genoa had a successful summer, adding Andrea Rannochia, Luca Toni, Rafinha, Franco Zuculini, Miguel Veloso, Anthony Van Den Borre and Kakha Kaladze. Napoli welcomed Hassan Yebda, Christian Lucarelli and Jose Sosa. Lazio pulled off a coup with the acquisition of Hernanes, as well as Javier Garrido and Mark Bresciano and others. New boys Cesena were busy too with a number of players coming in for the long haul in the top flight. Fiorentina scaled back their spending; only Gaetano D'Agostino and Artur Boruc were purchased.

Top 5 buyers summer 2010/11 by net spend

1. €122m - Manchester City
2. €81m - Real Madrid
3. €47m - Zenit St. Petersburg*
4. €31m - Rubin Kazan*
5. €28m - Barcelona
Source used: Transfermarkt

*note: Zenit play a summer season - includes winter transfersSpain: David Villa gives Barcelona what would seem to be an unfair advantage in an attacking sense after his signing from Valencia; Javier Mascherano can play a bit too. Adriano was recruited from Sevilla but there were more outs than ins at Camp Nou, including Dymtro Chygrynskiy returning home to Shakhtar. Real Madrid conducted their customary summer overhaul; Sami Khedira, Mesut Oezil, Pedro Leon, Sergio Canales, Angel Di Maria and Ricardo Carvalho all joined Jose Mourinho at Santiago Bernabeu. Raul and Guti head the departures. Neighbours Atletico strengthened with Filipe, Diego Godin, Thiago and Fran Merida. Out went Jurado and Roberto to foreign teams, but Kun Aguero stayed.

Valencia were the big earners during the window, selling Davids Villa and Silva for huge profit; they outlaid some of that booty on Sofiane Feghouli, Mehmet Topaz, Roberto Soldado, Tino Costa and Ricardo Costa. Hercules made some intriguing moves, landing David Trezeguet and Royston Drenthe, as well as Haedo Valdez.

Beyond Barca and Madrid by far the biggest spenders were Malaga, who used their new-found investment to pay fees for seven different players, the biggest being Salomon Rondon from Las Palmas and striker Sebastian Fernandez from Banfield. Getafe made the fifth biggest net profit anywhere in Europe thanks to their funnelling of talent to the likes of Valencia and Real Madrid.

Germany: Bayern stayed quiet and crucially, lost no players in the window while the challengers to their crown spent significantly to bridge the gap. Wolfsburg bought Simon Kjaer, Arne Friedrich, Cicero, Mario Mandzukic, Nassim Ben Khalifa and Diego at some expense. Last season's runners-up Schalke made space for Real Madrid legend Raul and former team-mate Christophe Metzelder. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Sergio Escudero, Kyriakos Papadopolous, Jurado, Hans Sarpei, Nicolas Plestan, Tim Hoogland, Atsuto Uchida, Ciprian Deac and Eric Jendrisek were also brought in. Michael Ballack adds experience to Bayer Leverkusen while Hanno Balitsch was purchased from Hannover; Shinji Kagawa and Robert Lewandowski head the arrivals at Dortmund.

Hamburg's defence was fortified by Heiko Westermann, who seemingly took the clean sheets with him from Schalke; Gojko Kacar looks an interesting signing for HSV as does Mohammadou Idrissou at Moenchengladbach. Werder Bremen offset the departure of playmaker Oezil with the signings of Wesley, Mark Arnautovic and Mickael Silvestre. Other clubs did decent business; Morten Rasmussen and Adam Szalai (Mainz), Gylfi Sigurdsson (Hoffenheim). Stuttgart left it late but snared Mauro Camoranesi to join Philipp Degen, Christian Molinaro and Christian Gentner, as well as Martin Harnik.

Top five summer transfers by price

1. €40m - David Villa ( Valencia - Barcelona)
2. €32m - David Silva ( Valencia - Man City)
3. €30m - James Milner ( Aston Villa - Man City)*
4. €28m - Mario Balotelli ( Inter - Man City)
5. €25m - Angel di Maria ( Benfica - Real Madrid)
Source: World Football Insider

note: €30m includes €9.7m valuation of part-exchanged Stephen Ireland
France: Champions Marseille lost Hatem Ben Arfa to Newcastle but managed to add to their ranks with Cesar Azpilicueta, Loic Remy and Andre-Pierre Gignac. Bordeaux were on the receiving end of another major domestic transfer with Yoann Gourcuff joining Lyon. Les Gones also grabbed Pape Diakhate and Jimmy Briand while Girondins spent on Fahid Ben Khalfallah, Maazou Moussa and Anthony Modeste. New boys Arles were hyper busy in the market while Auxerre brought in the classy Anthony Le Tallec. Dieumerci Mbokani and Pierre Aubameyang were among the new arrivals at Monaco. Nene and Mathieu Bodmer went to PSG while Rennes, now Gyan-less, and St Etienne were also busy.

Russia: The RPL welcomed its most expensive ever player in the shape of Bruno Alves, who transferred with Sergei Semak, Aleksandr Bukharov and Aleksander Lukovic to Zenit. Rubin Kazan were among Europe's biggest spending teams, adding Salvatore Bocchetti, Aleskei Medvedev, Obafemi Martins and Carlos Eduardo, amongst others. CSKA Moscow replaced Krasic with Zoran Tosic; Seydou Doumbia also arrived. Spartak Moscow prepare for life in the Champions League with the purchases of Aiden McGeady and Nicolas Pareja.

Top 5 sellers summer 2010/11 by gross spend

1. €84m - Valencia
2. €53m - Inter
3. €50m - Benfica
4. €45m - Barcelona
5. €38m - Liverpool
Source used: TransfermarktPortugal: Champions Benfica lost some of their stars but added Eduardo Salvio, Nicolas Gaitan, Roberto Gago and Franco Jara. Porto snapped up Sporting's Joao Moutinho; good thing as Meireles left for Anfield while James Rodriguez came from Banfield. Nicolas Otamendi arrived from Velez. Sporting got Alberto Zapater, Maniche, Diogo Salamao and others. Braga have Hugo Viana in their ranks ahead of a Champions League campaign.

Greece: Panathinaikos added Jean Alain Boumsong, Sidney Govou, Luis Garcia and Damian Plessis while Olympiacos brought in Kevin Mirallas, Ariel Ibagaza, Francois Modesto, Dennis Rommedahl and Albert Riera from overseas. Papa Bouba Diop (AEK) and Stephen Makinwa (Larissa) were the other high profile arrivals.

Turkey: Galatasaray were busy but were still knocked out of Europe. Nonetheless Zvjezdan Misimovic, Emiliano Insua and Lorik Cana were among their most high-profile overseas additions. Rivals Fenerbance added Mamadou Niang, Issiar Dia, Joseph Yobo and Miroslav Stoch. Besiktas welcome Ricardo Quaresma, Guti and Mehmet Aurelio, among others.

Asia: Bunyodkor said goodbye to their stars Stevica Ristic (Amkar Perm), Server Djeporov (FC Seoul), Rivaldo and Denilson (both released). In Australia, Robbie Fowler opted to trade North Queensland Fury for Perth Glory. Gamba Osaka sold star forward Leandro to Al-Sadd for a sum verging on the eight figures. Also, Abdul Kader Keita joined Al Sadd for a similar sum: he and Leandro will be team-mates of Nadir Belhadj.
Top 5 sellers summer 2010/11 by net spend

1. €51m - Valencia
2. €40m - Inter
3. €22m - Udinese
4. €24m - Nice
5. €20m - Getafe
Source used: Transfermarkt Gabri and Mario Melchiot moved to Umm Salal. Ivorian pair Aruna Dindane and Baky Kone now ply their trade for Lekhwiya. Al Sailiya brought Moumouni Dagano and Yazid Mansouri to the club. Marcelo Bordon swapped Schalke for Al Rayyan. Fabio Cannavaro headed the arrivals in the UAE League, joining Al Ahli of Dubai.

Africa: Geddo was the biggest mover, from Al Ittihad to Al Ahly, for a fee of around $500,000, while South Africa saw plenty of moves within its PSL.

MLS: Thierry Henry and Rafael Marquez (New York Red Bulls) were two of the major marquee signings in the United States. Also featuring in the MLS this season are Mista (Toronto FC), Nery Castillo (Chicago Fire) and Geovanni (San Jose Earthquakes). The biggest domestic trade saw Freddie Ljungberg swap Seattle Sounders for Chicago.

South America: And finally there was plenty of movement in South America, even though in many countries the season is long since underway. In Brazil, for example, Deco joined Fluminense, while Internacional sealed a move for Ilan. But key was who didn't move: Neymar and the now-injured Ganso are staying at Santos - for now - as two of the hottest prospects on the continent.

Chilean defender Waldo Ponce moved to Racing Santander from O'Higgins, while Jean Beausejour left Mexico's America for Birmingham City.

In Argentina, Estudiantes signed Hernan Lopez from Velez Sarsfield, Damian Escudero joined Boca Juniors from Villarreal, while River Plate made a number of key acquisitions, not least Betis' Mariano Pavone and former Boca man Jonathan Maidana of Metalist Kharkiv.

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