The big European movers
In a depressed worldwide economy, the recession means nothing to the world of football, with many top European clubs spending fortunes on new players for the coming season.
Whilst the French market has stalled and Malaga’s financial problems in Spain have become well-documented, other clubs such as Bayern Munich, Inter Milan and especially, PSG have shown their riches in powerful surges this summer.
Total Football’s Simon Wright has picked out 60 worldwide transfers, microscoping ten at close quarters and rounding up some of the other main buyers and sellers, as well as some of the ex-Premier League players, who have decided to head abroad.
Jordi Alba – Valencia to Barcelona - £11m
Every summer, Barcelona will always look into strengthening their squad and they’ve done that again with the signings of Alex Song and Jordi Alba.
Alba (pictured) was one of the stars of the Spanish squad that retained the European Championship in the summer and scored in their final success over Italy in Kiev.
He fills a weak link area at the Nou Camp following Eric Abidal’s health issues in the last couple of seasons.
If Alba can continue his form from the summer, Barcelona will show there is life after the legendary Pep Guardiola.
Alvaro Pereira – FC Porto to Inter Milan - £11.9m
With Brazilian full back Maicon joining Manchester City on deadline day, Inter have found a youthful replacement in the form of Alvaro Pereira.
The left back has cost Inter an initial fee of £8m but this could rise to £11.9m depending on clauses in his deal.
He won the Copa America with Uruguay in 2011 and was part of the Porto side under Andre Villas-Boas.
His move to the San Siro was one of many as Inter look to recover from a poor domestic campaign last season in Serie A.
Javi Martinez – Athletic Bilbao to Bayern Munich - £31.6m
The Bundesliga transfer record was smashed by Bayern Munich as they paid Athletic Bilbao £31.6m for Javi Martinez.
Martinez has signed a five-year deal with the Bavarians as they look to reclaim Bundesliga dominance from Borussia Dortmund.
Martinez was an integral part of a Bilbao side that reached the UEFA Europa League final last season, beating the likes of Manchester United and Schalke 04 along the way.
It has been a busy summer in Munich, as they have also captured Dante, Xherdan Shaqiri and Croatian hitman Mario Mandzukic from German rivals VFL Wolfsburg.
Thiago Silva – AC Milan to PSG - £33.5m
Oil-rich PSG made up for a fairly mundane French transfer window as they splashed the cash to sign the Brazilian centre back Thiago Silva from AC Milan.
The 27-year-old becomes the most expensive defender in world football outside of England and signed a five-year deal to join the revolution at the Parc des Princes.
Silva has won the Serie A championship with the Rossoneri and despite signing a new deal only weeks before his switch, it is believed that Milan’s financial problems meant this deal had to go through.
Both clubs will benefit from this deal and it will be interesting to see if the defender can live upto his price tag.
Hulk – FC Porto to Zenit St. Petersburg - £32m
Long-term Chelsea target Hulk opted to join Zenit St. Petersburg on the eve of the Russian transfer window closing.
Hulk signed a five-year deal, fresh from having represented Brazil at the Olympic Games.
The 26-year-old scored 54 goals for Porto in 103 league matches and can play as either a second striker or on the right wing.
His move highlights the recent power Russian football is making on the European game.
Ibrahim Afellay – Barcelona to Schalke 04 – LOAN
Dutchman Ibrahim Afellay snubbed a late approach from Tottenham to join German side Schalke 04 on a season-long loan deal from Barcelona.
Afellay’s time at the Nou Camp has been limited thanks to a serious injury last September and he struggled in Holland’s nightmare summer campaign in the Ukraine.
However he is a huge talent and he could be Schalke’s gain. Plus, he knows Klaas-Jan Huntelaar so it could well be a fruitful partnership in Gelsenkirchen.
Miguel Veloso – Genoa to Dynamo Kiev - £6.5m
Dynamo Kiev won the race to sign the under-rated Portuguese midfielder Miguel Veloso from the revolving door that operates at Genoa.
Veloso had a poor season in Serie A last term and struggled at the Euros for Portugal, despite being a regular fixture in their starting 11.
The 26-year-old has plenty of potential and quality as regularly shown at his first club Sporting Lisbon.
I sense this deal is a bit of a risk for both the player and the club, so it will be interesting to see how Veloso copes in more unfamiliar surroundings.
Joao Pereira – Sporting Lisbon to Valencia - £2.8m
28-year old Joao Pereira starred at Euro 2012 for Portugal and Valencia have done well to get his signature on a three-year contract.
Pereira departs Sporting Lisbon for the La Liga side, having made 61 league appearances and scoring three goals in two and a half years.
Pereira will be hoping to continue his fast development and Valencia will benefit from his signing this season.
Ricardo Montolivo – Fiorentina to AC Milan – FREE
AC Milan have not been able to make big money signings this summer with their key arrival being the Italian midfielder Ricardo Montolivo.
Montolivo arrives on a free transfer from Fiorentina.
He was an integral part of the Italian midfield that reached the Euro 2012 final and will be hoping to add some creativity that has been evidently missing from the Milan midfield since Andrea Pirlo departed last summer to Juventus.
Luuk de Jong – FC Twente to Borussia Monchengladbach - £12m
One of the hottest properties in Europe in recent times has been young striker Luuk de Jong.
So, it was a surprise when he chose Borussia Monchengladbach over some more prestigious clubs in France and England.
Monchengladbach have failed to qualify for the Champions League but de Jong now has the chance to show his skills and goal potential in a better and bigger division than the Dutch league.
The £12m signing of a player who has scored 39 goals in 75 league appearances over the past two seasons has been well talked-about worldwide and many will have an eye on de Jong this season.
Premier League stars go abroad
The biggest mover in the Premier League heading abroad was Luka Modric who finally got his dream move to Real Madrid from Tottenham.
In a new partnership agreement between the two clubs, Madrid paid the North Londoners nearly £30m for the Croatian playmaker who will be missed at White Hart Lane.
Madrid’s rivals Barcelona also invaded North London to snap up Alex Song from Arsenal, after the Cameroon midfielder questioned the Gunners transfer policy.
Fenerbahce bought Raul Meireles from Chelsea for £8m and they also ended Dirk Kuyt’s loyal stay at Liverpool. Joseph Yobo has also gone there after a successful loan spell in Istanbul.
The controversial Joey Barton will spend the season on loan with French side Marseille, although he will still have to serve his lengthy suspension on a domestic basis.
Chelsea released Champions League hero Salomon Kalou and he has signed for Lille on a free transfer.
Manchester City have allowed unhappy Roque Santa Cruz to go out on loan to Malaga and youngster Dedryck Boyata has gone out on a temporary deal to FC Twente.
Elsewhere, Alberto Aquilani ended his hellish stay at Anfield, moving to Fiorentina on a permanent basis, Rafael van der Vaart returned to Hamburg SV on deadline day from Tottenham and Paul Pogba swapped Manchester United for Juventus.
The best of the rest
Here is a list below of 50 other top European stars. Watch out for these superstars in La Liga, Serie A, the Bundesliga, other domestic leagues and of course, the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League.
Axel Witsel – Benfica to Zenit St. Petersburg - £32m
Ezequiel Lavezzi – Napoli to PSG - £24m
Zlatan Ibrahimovic – AC Milan to PSG - £16m
Marco Reus – Borussia Monchengladbach to Borussia Dortmund - £13.5m
Mario Mandzukic – VFL Wolfsburg to Bayern Munich - £10.5m
Xherdan Shaqiri – FC Basle to Bayern Munich - £9.5m
Samir Handanovic – Udinese to Inter Milan - £8.8m
Marvin Martin – Sochaux to Lille - £8m
Salomon Rondon – Malaga to Rubin Kazan - £8m
Marco Ruben – Villarreal to Dynamo Kiev - £8m
Mauricio Isla – Udinese to Juventus - £7.5m
Ola John – FC Twente to Benfica - £7.25m
Sergio Canales – Real Madrid to Valencia - £6m
Milos Krasic – Juventus to Fenerbahce - £5.6m
Gregory van der Wiel – Ajax to PSG - £5m
Lassana Diarra – Real Madrid to Anzhi - £5m
Rasmus Elm – AZ Alkmaar to CSKA Moscow - £5m
Eljero Elia – Juventus to Werder Bremen - £4.4m
Dante – Borussia Monchengladbach to Bayern Munich - £3.75m
Federico Balzaretti – Palermo to AS Roma - £3.6m
Mehmet Topal – Valencia to Fenerbahce - £3.5m
Fernando Gago – Real Madrid to Valencia - £3m
Hamit Altintop – Real Madrid to Galatasaray - £3m
Matias Fernandez – Sporting Lisbon to Fiorentina - £3m
Kim Kallstrom – Lyon to Spartak Moscow - £3m
Diego Lopez – Villarreal to Sevilla - £2.8m
Theodor Gebre Selassie – Slovan Liberec to Werder Bremen - £2m
Joan Capdevilla – Benfica to Espanyol - £350,000
Antonio Cassano – AC Milan to Inter Milan – UNDISCLOSED
Javier Saviola – Benfica to Malaga – UNDISCLOSED
Joris Mathijsen – Malaga to Feyenoord – UNDISCLOSED
Eren Derdiyok – Bayer Leverkusen to 1899 Hoffenheim – UNDISCLOSED
Valon Behrami – Fiorentina to Napoli – UNDISCLOSED
Alberto Gilardino – Genoa to Bologna – UNDISCLOSED
Mounir El Hamdaoui – Ajax to Fiorentina – UNDISCLOSED
Mark van Bommel – AC Milan to PSV Eindhoven – FREE
Lucio – Inter Milan to Juventus – FREE
Gennaro Gattuso – AC Milan to Sion – FREE
Ryan Babel – 1899 Hoffenheim to Ajax – FREE
Tranquillo Barnetta – Bayer Leverkusen to Schalke 04 – FREE
Cristian Rodriguez – FC Porto to Atletico Madrid – FREE
Simao – Besiktas to Espanyol – FREE
Christian Poulsen – Evian to Ajax – FREE
Gelson Fernandes – St. Etienne to Sporting Lisbon - FREE
Hedwiges Maduro – Valencia to Sevilla – FREE
Danijel Pranjic – Bayern Munich to Sporting Lisbon – FREE
Andres Guardado – Deportivo to Valencia – FREE
Steed Malbranque – St. Etienne to Lyon – FREE
Juan Manuel Vargas – Fiorentina to Genoa – LOAN
Cristian Zapata – Villarreal to AC Milan – LOAN
All transfer fees are approximate values
By Simon Wright – Follow me on Twitter @Siwri88
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