There has never been more money in the Premier League with the television rights deal cashing up clubs to go on a spending spree during the off season. Despite being one of the most popular football leagues in the world, an EPL club hasn’t won the Champions League since Chelsea defeated Bayern Munich in 2011-2012.
All of the big European clubs in La Liga, Bundesliga, Ligue 1 and Serie A have made changes in the off-season. We take a look at some of the biggest trades this season outside of the English Premier League.
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NEYMAR (BARCELONA TO PARIS ST GERMAIN)
The 222million euro transfer fee to take the Brazilian striker from La Liga to Ligue 1 was paid courtesy of PSG’s owner Qatar Sports Investments. (QSI). PSG finished second in their domestic competition to Monaco last season and key moves in the off-season install them as red-hot favourites not only in France but as a key player in the Champions League.
The big question is how Neymar will handle the additional pressure at the Parc des Princes. In Spain he was realistically the third piece in a brilliant combination with Messi and Suarez. In France he will share the spotlight with Edinson Cavani, Dani Alves and Angel Di Maria who will undoubtedly form a similarly powerful combination.
Neymar will be the star of the show and his ability to take PSG deep into European football will define how he is remembered as a footballer more than anything he did with Barcelona.
LEONARDO BONUCCI (JUVENTUS TO AC MILAN)
After 227 games for the Bianconeri, Bonucci transferred across to AC Milan for 42 million Euros. Rumours of unrest in his relationship with Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri and even suggestions that he slapped Paulo Dybala and reprimanded Andrea Barzagli during the Champions League final were the nail in the coffin for Bonucci. (ESPN.com)
Despite growing up with the dream of playing for Juventus he now leaves the club after a brilliant career, a key piece in one of the most intimidating defences in European football.
ANDRE SILVA (PORTO TO AC MILAN)
The Portuguese strike moves from Porto to AC Milan on a 5 year contract for a 38million Euro transfer fee.
AC Milan coach Vincenzo Montella explained that Silva ‘reminds me of someone who made history with Milan’ (football-italia.net) alluding to a connection with Dutch superstar Marco Van Basten who played 147 games with Milan and won the FIFA World Player of the Year in 1992 and the Ballon d’Or in 1988, 1989 and 1992.
If Silva is half the player that Van Basten was for I Rossoneri it will be an incredible investment.
DANI ALVES (JUVENTUS TO PARIS SAINT GERMAN)
After playing a pivotal role in Juventus’ charge towards the Champions League final, Dani Alves opted for a fresh start with Paris Saint Germain. Despite Manchester City attempting to secure the right back’s services.
Alves explained to French paper L’Equipe that the players at Juve didn’t ‘understand’ him at first and he disagreed with what he perceived as a strict dressing room policy that didn’t even allow music to be played. If you have seen Dani Alves on social media you know that he is an exuberant man and you would think that PSG will be more open to some tunes before the match if Alves continues his good form this season.
DOUGLAS COSTA (BAYERN MUNICH TO JUVENTUS)
With only 14 starts in the Bundesliga last season for Bayern Munich, the Brazilian winger moves to Serie A Champion’s Juventus on loan for 6million Euros.
Costa has played 21 times for the Brazilian national team and the move has the option to be made permanent for a fee in the range of about 40million Euros if the Bianconeri like what Costa brings to the team.
Chasing more time on the pitch, there is a good chance that Costa will face his old team deep into this year’s Champions League.
OTHER IMPORTANT TRADES IN EUROPE
KINGSLEY COMAN (JUVENTUS TO BAYERN MUNICH)
THEO HERNANDEZ (ALAVES TO REAL MADRID)
PHILLIP COUTINHO (LIVERPOOL TO BARCELONA)
Cashed up with the millions from the Neymar transfer to PSG, the Blaugrana are chasing the Liverpool star to fill the void he left in attack.
Whilst the deal hasn’t been finalised, Barcelona will be able to throw serious cash at the English club (and still make keep plenty in the bank) and test Jurgen Klopp’s resolve to keep the Brazilian star at Anfield.