Andrew Ryan looks at the major club's decisions in this summer's transfer window.
The summer months are funny ones for football fans. With domestic club football concluded until August, fans are forced to go without their fix of weekly football action. On the other hand, however, fans of clubs from around the world anticipate this time of year to see how productive their team is during the increasingly lucrative summer transfer window.
Already this summer, we have seen plenty of bonkers transfer stories crop up around Europe, such as Ander Herrera to Barcelona, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Liverpool, and every player ever to Manchester United.
However, for every implausible rumour, there have been some major moves in this summer’s window:
Everton Spending Spree:
By far the busiest Premier League club in the summer transfer window, Ronald Koeman has gone about building an Everton team that can push for Champions League qualification.
So far this summer, Everton have signed Jordan Pickford from Sunderland (£30m), Michael Keane from Burnley (£25m), Sandro Ramirez from Malaga, Davy Klaasen from Ajax (£23.6m) Nathangelo Markelo from FC Volendam and Henry Onyekuro from Eupen.
Everton have managed to secure the return of Wayne Rooney to the Merseyside club 13 years after leaving Goodison Park for Manchester United.
Despite being very busy so far, Everton’s business doesn’t look like it is over just yet. They remain linked with Olivier Giroud, while Ross Barkley’s future at the club remains up in the air.
AC Milan Rebuilding Project:
The other notably busy club so far this summer comes from the Italian Serie A and the red and black half of Milan.
Since being taken over by Chinese group Sin-Europe Sports for £630m back in April, AC Milan have gone about spending big in the summer in order to reclaim their standing in Serie A.
So far this window, Milan have brought in André Silva from Porto (£32.3m), Andrea Conti from Atalanta (£21.25m), Hakan Calhanoglu from Bayer Leverkusen (£18.7m), Mateo Musacchio from Villareal (£15.3m) and Ricardo Rodriguez from Wolfsburg (£15.3m). As well as that, they have brought numerous players in on loan, including Fabio Borini from Sunderland.
However, possibly the biggest deal that AC Milan have pulled off so far is managing to extend 18-year-old goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma after he had previously turned down a new contract.
Antonio Conte Feeling The Blues:
While the blue side of Merseyside has been busy so far, the same cannot be said about the blue side of London. Up to this time of writing, the only incoming at Stamford Bridge has been Willy Caballero from Manchester City on a free transfer, as well as Antonio Rudiger from Roma for £34m.
The only other notable activity at the club has been with departures, with the likes of Asmir Begovic, Dominic Solanke, Nathan Ake and John Terry all leaving the club.
The window has been quite a frustrating one for Chelsea boss Antonio Conte, compounded by reports that Romelu Lukaku, a long-term priority target of Conte’s, is set to join Manchester United
in a deal that could potentially be worth £90m. This is made worse as speculation grows surrounding Diego Costa’s future at the club.
Both Arsenal and Liverpool, neither having been excessively busy this summer, have broken their respective transfer records.
For Arsenal, £52m was spent on French striker Alexandre Lacazette from Olympique Lyonnais. That is £10m more than what they spent on Mezut Ozil in 2013.
For Liverpool, £39m was spent on Mohammed Salah from AS Roma, £4m more than what they spent on Andy Carroll.
Aside from those two deals, neither club has spent much so far, with Sead Kolasinac to Arsenal and Dominic Solanke to Liverpool, both on frees, the only other incomings at the clubs.
A Mixed Bag on Manchester:
Going into this summer’s transfer window, both Manchester City and Manchester United were expected to be the big spenders, and while both have certainly spent money, neither look like they have brought in what they would like to bring in to improve their respective squads.
When it comes to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, they have brought in Bernardo Silva from Monaco for £43m to add to their attacking riches. However, while they have failed to reinforce their defence which proved so fragile last season, Guardiola did smash the goalkeeper transfer record by bringing in Ederson from Benfica.
Manchester City have also gone about trimming some unwanted fat from their squad with Pablo Zabaleta, Gael Clichy, Jesus Navas, Willy Caballero and Bacary Sagna all leaving the club. The future of Joe Hart remains up in the air, with the likes of Liverpool, West Ham and Manchester United all link with him.
This window has been a bit more frustrating on the red half of Manchester. José Mourinho’s 2nd summer window as manager of Manchester United has been dogged by speculation linking the side with too many players to count, with Antoine Griezmann, Ivan Perisic, Nemanja Matic, Fabinho and Alvaro Morata the most high-profile rumours.
In terms of actual incomings, Manchester United have spent just the £31m on Victor Lindelof from Benfica so far. However, with his medical in LA completed, Romelu Lukaku will bring their summer spending above £100m once again.
It is who has gone out the door that has grabbed more of the headlines. Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be leaving the club after United turned down the opportunity to extend his contract. More important than that is the departure of Wayne Rooney to Everton. The record goal-scorer for England and Manchester United has left the club after 13 years.
The coming months will prove to be just as hectic as any transfer window has been before it, with teams from around the Premier League, Europe, and the world work to bolster their squads ahead of the new campaign. With the futures of Diego Costa, Joe Hart, Javier Hernandez, Ross Barkley and so many others still in question, it proves to be a very interesting summer.