Ligue 1, Premier League, La Liga… What to remember from the winter transfer window
Andn signing up Argentine world champion Enzo Fernandez on Wednesday 1 February against €121m, Chelsea have added yet another folly to their astronomical winter transfer window. A far more impressive business than its European competitors, who have been cautious on the transfer market.
Zero points for PSG. After the many arrivals of the summer transfer window, Paris Saint-Germain closed the winter window without recruits… The fault of a market that started late, but also, according to two sources familiar with the matter, of Chelsea’s delays in the broadcast of the administrative documents necessary to validate the loan of the Moroccan Hakim Ziyech. Paris intends to appeal to the French League. In the departures column, goalkeeper no. 2 Keylor Navas joined Nottingham Forest.
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OL and OM. In Ligue 1, Lyon and Marseille have been more active than Paris, notably attracting two World Cup semi-finalists, Croatian Dejan Lovren (OL) and Moroccan Azzedine Ounahi (OM). OM also bought promising centre-forward Vitinha (Braga) for 25 million euros (plus seven bonuses).
Good operation in Rennes. 20-year-old Ghana international winger Kamaldeen Sulemana has been transferred from Rennes to Southampton in England, Stade Rennes has announced. The Ghanaian, who arrived in Brittany in the summer of 2021 for a transfer worth 15 million euros (excluding bonuses), leaves for around 25 million euros, according to various media outlets, making him the fifth biggest sale in France. behind Ousmane Dembélé, Nayef Aguerd, Ismaila Sarr and Eduardo Camavinga. Born in Techiman, southern Ghana, he trained at the ‘Right To Dream’ academy, partner of Danish club Nordsjaelland, where he made his professional debut before joining Rennes aged 19.
Direction the plain. Algeria international striker Islam Slimani has left Brest to join Anderlecht (Belgian first division) until the end of the season, the two clubs have announced. The 34-year-old Slimani, who had already had a difficult run in Europe, had only been at Brest since the summer but failed to make a name for himself, scoring just one league goal in October. Upon his arrival, the international with 41 goals in 89 games for Algeria was welcomed by his teammate Youcef Belaïli, but the latter left in the autumn.
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Charlatan. Bordeaux missed an expected reinforcement in the attacking sector, because their sporting director Admar Lopes had his cards stolen shortly before flying to complete the transfer, a source close to the club learns. However, an agreement was reached at the end of the market with the young forward’s club who plays abroad – whose name has not been leaked – on condition that the transfer is concluded in person. But when he embarked to reach the village of the selling club, Bordeaux sporting director Admar Lopes had his bag containing his personal documents and a computer stolen. Due to lack of identity documents, the Portuguese could not embark and the transfer failed.
mail by mail. Toulouse’s Guinean international defender Issiaga Sylla, freed next June, has been signed by Montpellier to compensate for the departure of Nicolas Cozza to Wolfsburg, announced by the Hérault club on Tuesday just hours before the end of the transfer window. Sylla, 29, has been playing at TFC since 2012 when he joined from Horoya AC, one of the clubs in Conakry, the capital of Guinea. Despite two loans to Gazelec Ajaccio (2015-16), then Lens (2020-21), he played 211 games in all competitions for the Toulouse club.
With over €300m committed in a month, Chelsea have evolved into a financial dimension of their own on the footballing planet. By “stealing” Ukrainian Mykhailo Mudryk (Shakhtar Donetsk) under Arsenal’s nose and beard against €100m, the Blues had already surprised by their ability to line up without complaining of sky-high sums.
Not to mention the improbable evening on Tuesday, at the end of which Todd Boehly’s club won the performance of another hope of world football: Argentine midfielder Enzo Fernandez, snatched from Benfica. The figure of 121 million is a record in England and challenges the duration of the contract: it runs until… 2031, according to various media. The 22-year-old Argentinian will turn 30 at the end of his London lease! Chelsea therefore spent generously, also attracting Benoît Badiashile, Joao Felix (on loan), Noni Madueke and Malo Gusto (on loan at Lyon until June).
Premier League leaders Arsenal have expanded their squad with Polish defender Jakub Kiwior, Belgian winger Leandro Trossard and Italian European champion Jorginho, who was snatched from Chelsea on Tuesday night. Elsewhere in England, Manchester City folded, Liverpool bought Dutch striker Cody Gakpo for €60m (including bonus), Newcastle dropped €45m on up-and-comer Anthony Gordon from Everton and Manchester United have signed midfielder Marcel Sabitzer and Dutch striker Wout Weghorst to try and fill a huge void: the one left by Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese superstar (37), released by the Red Devils after a last-ditch bloodbath, was finally recruited at great expense by Saudi club Al-Nassr on 30 December.
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In Spain, paradoxically, the two giants Real Madrid and FC Barcelona have remained rather discreet. The biggest coup is the work of Atlético Madrid: the Colchoneros have signed the Dutch striker Memphis Depay, whose contract at Barça expired at the end of June, for just 3 million euros.
The Italian market is closed and Inter still have Milan Skriniar in their ranks. Inter’s solid Slovak defender, whose contract expired in June and was announced at Paris SG, was expected in France in the winter, but the Nerazzurri kept him back due to lack of a replacement found in time.
Weakened by injuries, Bayern had to take action on the market to make up for the absences of their captain and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and their defender Lucas Hernandez, packages at least until the end of the season. In goal, Bayern have recruited Borussia Mönchengladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer for €8m, plus €1.5m in bonuses.
In defense the Dutch Daley Blind (32), free agent, signed until the end of the season and the Bavarians also obtained the loan on Tuesday with the option to buy the Portuguese of Manchester City Joao Cancelo, in view of the shock against Paris SG in the round of 16 Champions League final (14 February and 8 March).
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