The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the world of football and while the summer transfer window opens normally across Europe (just like the January window), clubs’ budgets are expected to be tough again this summer to be hit.
The clubs spent almost 1.5 billion euros less (1.9 billion US dollars) in the summer of 2020 than in the same period in 2019. according to FIFA, while Deloitte reported a 50% decline Active January 2021. However, there will still be plenty of loans, swaps, free transfers, and even some permanent deals to watch out for.
Here are the scores for all the major summer offers. The latest attributions are at the top; each day is in the order of the highest transfer fee. If you don’t see a grade for a completed move, please check back later. All fees are shown unless confirmed with an asterisk (*).
With an exit clause in its contract, Leipzig couldn’t do much to prevent its star defender from leaving. Upamecano is only 22 but has grown to become one of the best young players in Europe after moving from FC Salzburg 2017 for around 10 million euros. The club has come to terms with letting him go and will move on.
Bayern have prevailed with the French over the rest of the top European clubs and should be very satisfied. Still in development, he should make a good addition to their eclectic roster as he has been one of the most sought after players in this transfer window.
Another Leipzig star with an achievable exit clause in his contract. Much like Upamecano, Konate wouldn’t stay at the club long before joining one of the top teams in Europe. Leipzig did well to get a large transfer fee and can build up again with it.
One of the best young defenders in Europe, Upamecano made the most of the headlines, but Konate deserves a big move too. Liverpool have struggled this season but should be prepared for the future if the 21-year-old can take off in England and stay injury-free.
The relegation of Schalke after a gloomy season ensured that this change was always in sight. His loan to Juventus in August 2020 came as a surprise, and the German Club may regret not holding him to support their fight against the drop. By dividing the payments to Schalke over three years, however, they have secured their financial future and could pocket an additional 6.5 million euros in surcharges.
Juve has managed to make the most of it United States Midfielder and impressed enough to earn a contract through June 2025. Coach Andrea Pirlo says he is “more professional than he was when he was younger” and that his fitness and concentration have improved. It will only get stronger at one of the top clubs in Europe.
Man City: B
RB Leipzig: B.
“There is a big difference [between Man City boss Pep Guardiola and Leipzig’s Julian Nagelsmann]: One gave me confidence and played against me, the other didn’t. [Guardiola] killed me. Trust is everything to me. ” This quote just roughly summarize Angelinos time at City, signing the former Spain U21 international in 2013 but spending most of his time on loan. He went to PSV in 2018 and finally started showing his skills, however City made use of its buyback clause bring it back to Etihad, where it was loaned out again.
Fortunately, the 24-year-old had two impressive loans from Leipzig, which were enough to persuade him to make a permanent commitment. City got a decent transfer fee, while Leipzig got a player who has proven to be an important part of their team. We just hope there is no buyback clause this time around.
RB Leipzig: B +
After failing the grade at the Marseille Youth academy, two impressive seasons with Strasbourg’s first team as youngsters showed that Simakan was ready for promotion. He’s still raw and developed, but his defensive style is similar to Lilian Thuram’s and you can’t help thinking that Strasbourg could have taken a little more.
Have a player depart for € 42.5 million and use the money to sign their replacement for € 15 million; Leipzig got the hang of the transfers. The club has run out of competition AC Milan winning the highly rated Simakan, who has tons of potential and is still only 21 years old. He is a born organizer who should help fill the void in Upamecano.
AC Milan: B.
After winning Ligue 1 that season, the Lille exodus began with their star goalkeeper when Maignan moved to Italy. After building a reputation for itself in France, the 6 foot 3 stopper stayed cheap as its contract was due to expire in 2022. Lille will struggle to replace him with a similar quality.
Milan moved quickly when it became clear that Gianluigi Donnarumma wasn’t going to sign any new terms. The 22-year-old Italian international is set to go on a free transfer and Maignan is his replacement. He won’t win over fans like Donnarumma did when he made his debut at the age of 15, but Maignan is a solid player who can help Milan overcome the loss of their greatest young star.
Julien Laurens suggests USMNT candidate Bryan Reynolds will do better at Roma than Juventus.
FC Dallas Class: A
Roma grade: B-
Reynolds joined Roma on loan in January but has played only a few times since then. He’s still only 19 so the $ 6.75 million commitment to sign him (plus $ 5 million in add-ons) is a lot of money and Dallas can be pleased with how they got him to advance his career . He’s missing, but it’s better for the player to keep going.
Roma beat Juventus as US right-back and the club will offer him a clearer path to the first team. It has a lot to learn and it’s not the finished article yet, but it has tons of potential and Roma hopes it will have an impact similar to that of US star McKennie in Turin.
Degree programs: B-
Man City: B +
Sarmiento, a short, nimble Argentine striker, had the unwanted distraction of comparisons with the Untouchables Lionel Messi to cope with in his young career so far. As a 16-year-old, he made his Estudiantes debut in 2019 and has not looked back since, impressing with his dribbling and direct running style. The club could have held him on a little longer to see how he developed, but decided to take the money early.
It’s a bit of a gamble for City and you can see Sarmiento get loaned out before showing up on City’s first team. But the Premier League champions haven’t spent much to sign the 18-year-old so they could reap the rewards if he turns out to be half as good as Messi.
With 260 goals in 389 games for Manchester City, Agüero is one of the best strikers to have ever played. At 32 and a season full of injury battles, he has taken on a new challenge and still has a lot to offer. If his body holds up, Barca are hoping he will have a similar impact as Luis Suarez, but his arrival could be more important in convincing his Argentinian compatriot Lionel Messi to sign a new deal.
Real Madrid: A +
Bayern will be furious that they couldn’t get one of their top defenders to sign a new contract, but 28-year-old Alaba clearly had a new challenge in mind. Madrid have created a world class player who can play in different positions. They pay him a lot of salary, but the lack of a transfer fee makes it absolutely worth it. If Sergio Ramos or Raphael Varane leave, the club will have a natural replacement.
RB Leipzig: A-
Any player who has gone through the extraordinary Ajax youth academy usually has a decent career. Brobbey’s youth goalscoring record earned him 90 goals in 123 games while at the club, but tired of the lack of first-team chances, he decided to end his contract before taking on a new challenge Germany. Leipzig might have gotten a real star if he could continue this development. You were looking for a replacement for Timo Werner (after letting Chelsea signed him for € 53m last summer) and Brobbey’s versatility gives him an extra dimension upfront. At 19, the striker has all the attributes to be successful.
The former left-back of the England U21 national team decided to move to the Bundesliga as the youngest young star when his contract with the reading championship came to an end. At 23 he has plenty of room to develop, but it’s a risk for Bayern. The German club were obviously impressed with his technical prowess and his ability to attack as a full-back, but they’ll have to perform exceptionally well to oust Alphonso Davies from the team.
It takes a lot of courage to swap clubs at the age of 17, but Coulibaly follows Dan-Axel Zagadou moved from PSG to Borussia Dortmund and is central defender on the left foot. PSG couldn’t offer him any first-team guarantees. After sustaining a cruciate ligament injury in training in mid-February, he decided to leave him at the end of his contract. Coulibaly was supported in its development by a French compatriot Presnel Kimpembe and Dortmund will certainly be able to offer him the opportunities he needs if he can show that he is up to the challenge. “I’m grateful for my time at PSG but there is the right move for me,” he said. “I had other offers from other clubs, but I knew immediately that Dortmund was the right choice for me.”