Barcelona, Bayern Munich and the biggest summer transfers around Europe

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Premier League clubs spent a net total of well over £1bn – and a gross of £1.9bn – during the summer transfer window this time around, outspending all their rival leagues by a massive, and continually unsettling, amount. Some have fared better than others with that business, it’s fair to say.

LaLiga’s £55m net spend was the next highest total outlay, which factors in the likes of Jules Kounde, Umar Sadiq and Brais Mendez moving from one Spanish club to another – so no net addition, as the fee out and in is the same – and big-money sales to the Premier League such as Alexander Isak and Casemiro.

But while the rest of Europe’s finest were well below England’s top flight as a whole, it doesn’t mean the top continental clubs were sitting idle – far from it.

On the incoming side, the usual suspects were all extremely busy reshaping their squads for the domestic seasons ahead and trying to chase down Champions League and Europa titles in what will be an incredibly unusual campaign, given the mid-year split for the 2022 World Cup.

Here’s a run down of how each of the top clubs in La Liga, Serie A, the Bundesliga and Ligue 1 went about spending cash this summer.

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Barcelona play mindbending maths, Real build from strength

An awful lot went on at the Camp Nou this summer – here’s a complete guide for you on how they managed to sign players without having money for them, who is behind those contract cuts and what on earth and economic lever is.

What Barcelona did end up doing, though, is totally restructuring Xavi’s playing squad: Robert Lewandowski, Jules Kounde, Raphinha and Andreas Christensen are the biggest additions, along with Franck Kessie and a late deal for Hector Bellerin.

Whether it’s enough to overhaul Real Madrid’s dominance after being crowned champions both domestically and in Europe is another matter; Real didn’t go too big, but added Aurelien Tchouameni to further evolve the midfield which is now without Casemiro after his departure. Antonio Rudiger was the other arrival, on a free.

Sevilla signed the usual mix of squad filler loans, dubious frees and hugely talented youngsters – see Alex Telles, Isco and Tanguy Nianzou respectively as examples – while Atletico Madrid added just two players for this season: veteran Axel Witsel who has started in defence and Nahuel Molina at wing-back.

The biggest and most notable of the rest include Umar Sadiq to Real Sociedad, Ander Herrera heading back to Athletic Club and Valencia signing Edinson Cavani.

Juventus go big but the jury is out

AC Milan won the title, but not the transfer window. Their takeover was only completed on deadline day for €1.2bn, so perhaps more investment will come in future, but adding Divock Origi (free), Serginio Dest (loan), Malick Thiaw (age 21, £7m) and Charles De Ketelaere (21, £30m) feels a little underwhelming after waiting so long for a Serie A title.

Rivals Inter didn’t do much more, making Joaquin Correa permanent, loaning Romelu Lukaku and bringing in free transfer pair Andre Onana and Francesco Acerbi as their main business.

Instead it’s Napoli and Juventus who have made most waves, with the former making some really intriguing additions who are already making a positive impact, and the latter going bigger…but necessarily better.

Juve added Bremer at centre-back, Filip Kostic on the wing, Arkadiusz Milik as a No9 backup and brought in established names in Paul Pogba, Angel Di Maria (both free) and Leandro Paredes (loan). Pogba’s long-term injury notwithstanding, only Di Maria might be looked at their as a genuinely elite Champions League-level performer, and he’s 34. Bremer was excellent last year but is in a very different defensive system now.

As for Napoli, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia has quickly become the most eye-catching player in the league, earning the nickname “Kvaradona” from the home support, which gives an indication of the winger’s rapid and massive impact.

Kim Min-jae looks a smart centre-back addition, with Giovanni Simeone and Tanguy Ndombele among their other signings. The sales of Kalidou Koulibaly and Fabian Ruiz leave them easily within profit this summer.

Roma’s work was minimal in terms of outlay, but Paulo Dybala is already showing he should be an excellent acquisition on a free.

Bayern Munich secure the future and Leipzig splash out

A bit of a changing of the guard for Bayern this summer, with Sadio Mane effectively the Robert Lewandowski replacement, but they spent well over £100m elsewhere too: Matthijs de Ligt in for the long-haul in defence, compatriot Ryan Gravenberch added in the centre and Mathys Tel signed as a teenage attacker, too. Noussair Mazraoui on a free might be the most obvious piece of business another dozen sides should have been focused on this summer, but Bayern got him.

Dortmund’s summer plans were obviously affected by the news that Sebastien Haller must fight cancer, soon after signing him for €35m, with Anthony Modeste and Karim Adeyemi other attacking additions at different ends of their careers. Nico Schlotterbeck is a great signing in defence and Niklas Sule could be, if he finds top fitness and form levels.

No signing is going to replace those Erling Haaland goals, though.

RB Leipzig probably had the most interesting window in Germany, landing David Raum and Xaver Schlager and bringing Timo Werner ‘home’.

It probably isn’t enough to close the gap at the top but reaffirms their standing among the best of the rest.

Adam Hlozek and Callum Hudson-Odoi will both hope to aid Bayer Leverkusen after a dismal start to the season.

PSG untouchable after €150m spree

Not a surprise, but reigning champions PSG have gone big once more – though in decidedly different fashion to previous years.

Last year it was all about big-name, free transfer, huge wage signings including Mssrs Messi, Ramos, Wijnaldum and Donnarumma. This time, under the more structured guidance of Luis Campos who is now overseeing their recruitment, there was more focus on solid quantity to boost the squad, with a sprinkle of outrageous talent.

Nordi Mukiele, Vitinha and Fabian Ruiz are all in as versatile midfield performers, while the lack of challenge to them landing Carlos Soler for just €18m late in the window was frankly absurd.

Renato Sanches is a great signing if he shows consistency this time, something he failed in his last big move to Bayern, while Nuno Mendes is in permanently and Hugo Ekitke was landed on loan with a permanent deal likely down the line.

Their biggest rials this year, Marseille, made do with making loans permanent for the most part: Pau Lopez, Matteo Guendouzi, Cengiz Under.

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Alexis Sanchez, Nuno Tavares and Eric Bailly are new no-cost or low-cost arrivals, while Amine Harit could prove an inspired addition. Colombian forward Luis Suarez is their big new signing.

Elsewhere, Monaco added to their attack with Taki Minamino from Liverpool and Breel Embolo from Gladbach, while Rennes signed Amine Gouiri and Arnaud Kalimuendo from Nice and PSG respectively.

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