This summer’s transfer window was full of surprises and drama, and while the COVID-19 pandemic restricted some big money deals, several moves were still made.
While Real Madrid failed to finalise a move for Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe, this window did allow for two of the world’s best ever players, along with plenty of others, to move to other clubs.
So here are our top five deals of this summer’s transfer window!
Raphael Varane (Real Madrid to Manchester United - €40m)
It is safe to say that Manchester United had a really eventful summer transfer window, particularly when it came to signings, and one of the most notable moves has to be Raphael Varane’s arrival.
The 28-year-old made a name for himself in Spain with Real Madrid, forming half of one of the most reliable defensive partnerships in recent history alongside Sergio Ramos, with the French centre-back making around 360 appearances for the Spanish side.
A three-time La Liga and four-time UEFA Champions League winner, and also a winner of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Varane is a player that will give United’s defence the boost it desperately needed.
Stay tuned for the name of another United arrival in the list!
Memphis Depay (Olympique Lyonnais to Barcelona - free)
Barcelona have had an absolutely shocking time recently, with players on hefty wages refusing to leave and players having to take pay cuts to allow the club to register some of their new signings.
As a result, their standout arrival was Memphis Depay, who signed on a free transfer after his contract with Lyon expired.
The Dutch forward is set to be the main man this season, and after his disappointing time at Manchester United, he managed to rebuild his career over in France, where he scored more than ten goals and provided more than ten assists in all but one of his four full Ligue 1 seasons.
His time at Barca has started well, and given the departure of another big name on this list, then the 27-year-old will have to continue impressing to fill a huge void in their attack.
Romelu Lukaku (Inter to Chelsea - €115m)
The return that plenty of Chelsea fans wanted, and many expected that would happen someday.
Chelsea managed to sign Romelu Lukaku for a club-record fee of €115 million, yet he will most probably end up being worth the money.
Lukaku was not a good fit at Old Trafford, but unlike United, Chelsea have always aimed to sign strong forwards that allowed other players to make runs off of them in behind the defence, and the 28-year-old Belgian definitely fits that profile.
While he was sold by Chelsea when he was still very young, Lukaku is on another level right now, scoring goals for his previous side Inter and also for Belgium, currently being his nation’s all-time top scorer with 67 goals in 100 caps.
Lionel Messi (Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain - free)
Imagine being Barcelona right now, having plenty of debt due to disastrous planning leading to your greatest ever player to leave the club, for free.
Lionel Messi completed his first move away from Barcelona this summer, heading to Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer after Barca failed to agree on an adequate contract with him.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner has been Barca’s talisman over the years, helping them win ten La Liga titles, four UEFA Champions Leagues, and plenty more trophies.
However, he will now form part of one of Europe’s most frightening attacks, with the French side also having the likes of Mbappe, Neymar, Angel Di Maria and Mauro Icardi.
Frightening for other teams to say the least.
Paris Saint-Germain is delighted to announce the signing of Leo Messi on a two-year contract with an option of a third year.https://t.co/D5Qjq7PJfF#PSGxMESSI ❤️💙 pic.twitter.com/msJAnW01V5— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) August 10, 2021
He's 𝗵𝗼𝗺𝗲.— Manchester United (@ManUtd) September 9, 2021
#MUFC | #HereWeBelong pic.twitter.com/PyHUw8q9yy
Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus to Manchester United - €15m)
The choice for top spot was close, but it had to go to Cristiano Ronaldo’s emotional return to Old Trafford.
The Portuguese icon was on the cusp of joining fierce rivals Manchester City, as he pushed for a move away from Juventus, but after a quick turnaround in negotiations, he refused to go to City and opted to re-join his former club Manchester United.
United will pay Juve €15 million that will be given in instalments, making it one of the best bargains in recent history, even if Ronaldo is now 36.
Ronaldo will receive an outstanding ovation from United fans, returning to the club where he made a name for himself during the 2000s under legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
Ronaldo has gone on to win several honours, including five Ballon d’Or titles, five UEFA Champions Leagues, and also Euro 2016, becoming one of football’s all-time greats.
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