As preparations for the new season pick up steam, Europe’s top clubs are looking to bolster their squad in order to achieve their ambitions. TheHardTackle picks the top 5 transfers from July — a month that has seen some high profile names switch allegiances.
Europe’s top clubs have once again been busy in the transfer market as some of the biggest names in football have switched clubs for massive sums of money. TheHardTackle takes a look at the top 5 transfers of July, featuring the champions of the Premier League, Bundesliga, Serie A and La Liga.
Borussia Dortmund to Manchester United
6th July, 2016
The Armenian playmaker was masterful for Die Schwarzgelben in the 2015-16 season. Mkhitaryan’s 16 goals and 15 assists in all competitions saw him being voted as the Bundesliga Player of the Season. As contract negotiations stalled with one year left on his Dortmund deal, the 27-year-old was in the perfect position for a transfer.
Mkhitaryan was linked with a number of clubs — including Arsenal and Chelsea — looking to bring him to the Premier League. However, it was Jose Mourinho and Manchester United who snapped up the attacking midfielder, agreeing a deal with Dortmund for an undisclosed fee believed to be in excess of £30 million.
Leicester City to Chelsea
16th July, 2016
Leicester City were expecting all the top clubs to try and lure their best players away after their incredible Premier League title triumph. They managed to hold on to Jamie Vardy despite interest from Arsenal, but Chelsea were relentless in their pursuit of the Foxes’ defensive midfielder N’golo Kante.
The 25-year-old Frenchman made the most tackles and interceptions in the Premier League last season and the opportunity of signing a player perfectly suited to his system was too much for Blues manager Antonio Conte to pass up. The Foxes ended up acquiescing to Chelsea’s demand, and Kante moved to Stamford Bridge for £30 million.
Bayern Munich to Borussia Dortmund
21st July, 2016
German attacker Mario Gotze has seen his career go downhill at Bayern Munich since he scored that unforgettable World Cup winning goal in Brazil in 2014. He found himself on the periphery of things at the Allianz Arena, with the Bavarians largely relegating him to a place on the bench for the past two seasons.
Liverpool and Tottenham both registered an interest in acquiring the 24-year-old German international from Bayern, but it was Dortmund — the club where Gotze spent his formative years — who welcomed him back. Die Borussen re-signed Gotze for a reported fee of £18 million, three years after they had sold him to Bayern for £31 million.
Valencia to Barcelona
22nd July, 2016
La Liga champions Barcelona pulled off a coup with their acquisition of Portuguese midfielder Andre Gomes from domestic rivals Valencia. The Portuguese central midfielder had attracted strong interest from the likes of Real Madrid and Manchester United, but the Catalan club snapped him up for a reported £29.1 million with add-ons up to £16.5 million.
Gomes is regarded as one of the biggest central midfield prospects in Europe. The 22-year-old is fresh off winning Euro 2016 with Portugal and will look to win even more trophies with Barca as he competes with the likes of Andres Iniesta, Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Busquets for a starting role in midfield.
Napoli to Juventus
26th July, 2016
This high profile Serie A switch could well be one of the most acrimonious transfers in footballing history. The hero of Napoli, who scored a record-breaking 36 goals in the Serie A last season to take I Partenopei to within touching distance of the Scudetto, quickly became one of the most hated figures in the Italian city.
The transfer had been building for weeks and then in an eruption akin to that of the famed Mount Vesuvius in Naples, it was finally confirmed that the Serie A champions had signed Higuain from their rivals. The 28-year-old striker became the third most expensive signing in history as Juve met his release clause of £75.3 million, but the Argentine left behind him a tide of anger and disappointment that will reach breaking point this coming season when the two teams meet.