New Season, New Recruits
Top clubs are now on a spending spree to nab players they think will best suit their gameplans come opening of Europe’s big five: Premier League (England), La Liga (Spain), Bundesliga (Germany), Ligue 1 (France), Serie A (Italy), and of course, the Champions League. On the price tags hanging around confirmed deals, there’s one that set a world-record for goalkeeper fee, a superstar signing worth £80 million, and a £60 million club-record fee for a former anonymous winger.
Here’s a list to get you all caught up on the most costly signings of the summer transfer window so far. Will there be any expensive last-minute listing before transfer deadline on August 9th and 30th?
1. Cristiano Ronaldo (£88.5 million)
Cristiano Ronaldo has hinted on a career-defining move last May just moments after Real Madrid won the Champions League. The Los Blancos figurehead has spent nine years with the club during which he netted over 400 goals, won four Ballon d’Or awards and four Champions League titles. The footballing world has been eager to find out which club will secure the star’s pricey services. Last July, Juventus gathered up their chips and went all in to invest on the 33-year-old sensation. The seismic move is already paying dividends, though. The Italian club has reportedly now sold $60 million worth of Ronaldo shirts—almost half the transfer fee—and seen its stock price increase to about 40%.
2. Alisson Becker (£67 million)
All the slip-ups that surrounded Loris Karius’ performances have called for a top-class goalkeeper at Anfield. Jurgen Klopp needed a new first-choice goalkeeper and he was certainly buzzing about getting Alisson Becker’s signature. Brazil’s No. 1 has made the Liverpool switch in a record-shattering stopper fee. This trumps Ederson’s fee last summer of £34.7 million and investment in Gianluigi Buffon in 2001 of £32.6.
3. Riyad Mahrez (£60 million)
Pep Guardiola is hoping Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez is a snip at Manchester City’s club-record fee. Mahrez’s résumé involves a PFA Player of the Year award, 17 goals/11 assists, and a shocking Premier League win with Leicester in season 2015-2016. He will add to the Catalan’s firepower in his attempt to defend title at Man City and launch an assault on Champions League. The idea of shelling out such an amount would have been ludicrous, as far as public opinion is concerned. But Guardiola has proven time and again that paying attention to potential early on reaps rewards.
4. Naby Keita (£52.7 million)
The kid from Guinea has signed on to be part of Klopp’s revamped arsenal straight from RB Leipzig’s Europa League qualification. (Liverpool is splashing some real cash here and critics are pointing out Klopp’s hypocrite transfer spending. Some say it’s only pragmatic as the manager intends to improve his squad, not to sell jerseys.) Keita has expressed admiration for Steven Gerrard and stated he used to wear a Liverpool shirt in the streets. Now, the central midfielder is living the dream and has been training with Mo Salah and the rest of The Reds in USA. Klopp has already revealed his plans for Keita, saying he sees him as an ‘8’ and ‘10’ and can play ‘6’.
5. Jorginho (£57 million)
Jorginho was wanted by several clubs in their lineup but the Brazil-born playmaker opted to followed Italian boss Maurizio Sarri to Chelsea. Jorginho supposedly passed up on joining Manchester City to play for the Blues. The Stamford Bridge camp are delighted to have the coveted midfielder and they are convinced he will help bring success in their Premier League campaign.
Which club do you think closed the best deal? Head over to Eastbridge’s Twitter page and tell us what you think. We’ve got you covered for the latest updates and news of the upcoming football season.