The armchair guide to football transfers

by Justin Cormick

Neymar BrazilIn the first instalment of the Armchair guide to football transfers we take a look at the major transfers made so far this season. Having a look at all the major ins and outs of the big four leagues: the English Premier League, the German Bundesliga, Spanish La Liga and Italian Serie A.

The biggest transfer of the season is undoubtedly Brazilian confederation cup winner Neymar, making his long awaited for switch to European Football. The striker has been playing five seasons for Brazilian club Santos and has drawn comparisons to country great Pele. The legend described Neymar as a better player than both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. It will be exciting to see Neymar playing alongside Messi and against Ronaldo in la Liga.

English Premier League

More on Spanish transfers later, but first let’s have a look at the Premier League. Where better to start than in North West England with last season’s winners where the biggest transfer news is that Manchester United, so far, have been able to hold onto Wayne Rooney. The 27 year-old seems to have lost confidence after being upstaged by Golden Boot winning Robin van Persie, and will not be travelling with his team to Australia for their pre-season.

Rumours have linked Rooney with big moves to Chelsea, Arsenal, Real Madrid and even Barcelona. But reports suggest the English international will stick with United for another season. United’s only signing so far has been 20 year-old Guillermo Varela from Uruguyan Primera Division club Penarol.

Cross-town rivals Manchester City have lost Kolo Toure to Liverpool, Wayne Bridge to Reading, and Roque Santa Cruz to Malaga all on free transfers. While Carlos Tevez was purchased by Serie A winners Juventus for a reported 12 million pounds.

The Citizen’s ranks have been strengthened by Spanish international Jesus Navas from Sevilla, and Shakhtar Donetsk’s Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho, purchased for 30 million pounds. Shakhtar have replaced Fernandinho with Gremio’s Fernando, in the hope that fans won’t notice the swap.

Staying in North West England let’s move over to Merseyside. Spain’s Luis Alberto and Iago Aspas will both be joining Kolo Toure as new recruits at Liverpool. While Jonjo Shelvey has departed Liverpool for Swansea for a reported 5 million pounds.

Rumours have linked Liverpool’s Luis Suarez with a move to Real Madrid, the Uruguayan striker himself admitting he would love to play for los Blancos. There are also rumours of interest from Manchester City, Arsenal and even Chelsea, despite Suarez’s ‘tasty’ history with the club.

Aroune Kone and Antolin Alcaraz have both left relegated Wigan for Everton, where they will be joined by Atletico Madrid’s Joel Robles and 19 year-old Gerard Deulofeu on loan from Barcelona until the end of the season. Wigan has replaced their departing striker Kone with Grant Holt from Norwich.

Moving onto London, and Chelsea have added some European talent to their ranks with Germany’s Andre Schurrle and Marco van Ginkel from the Dutch Eredivisie. The Blues are reported to have paid Bayer Leverkusen 18 million pounds for the German international, and all Chelsea fans hope Schurrle can make a better name for himself in London than Marko Marin managed to. The former Werder Bremen playmaker has been loaned out to Sevilla for the season.

Also leaving London is Andrei Arshavin, Johan Djourou and Francis Coquelin all from Arsenal. The Russian has been snatched up by former club Zenit St Petersburg where he was on loan last season. Djourou and Coquelin have both been loaned out to Germany, the Swiss to Hamburg and the Frenchman to Freiburg.

2012 FIFA World Club Cup winning Paulinho has been purchased by Tottenham for 17 million pounds from Corinthians. The 24 year-old playmaker should make a great addition to the fifth placed Spurs. Remaining in London, and relegated QPR have lost Christopher Samba to big-spending Russian’s Anzhi. Fulham purchased Dutch number-one Maarten Stekelenburg from Roma for 4 million, forcing Australia’s number-one Mark Schwarzer to move to Chelsea on a free transfer.

Before we leave the Premier League let’s take a quick look at Swansea, who will be joined in the 2013-14 season by Cardiff City. The Swans had an impressive 2013, finishing the league in ninth place. And they will hope to do even better next season, with new recruits Jonjo Shelvey, and Spaniard’s Jose Canas and Alejandro Pozuelo from Real Betis and Jordi Amat from Espanyol. But the Welsh club’s biggest transfer is Ivorian striker Wilfried Bony from Vitesse, who had been linked with big moves to Chelsea and Manchester City.

German Bundesliga

The big transfer news from Germany is Mario Goetze’s switch from Champions League runner-up Borussian Dortmund to Champion League winner Bayern Munich. The German midfielder will be joined by 19 year-old Mitchell Weiser from Kaiserslauten and 22 year-old Jan Kirchhoff from Mainz. But is apparently not big enough for another Mario, with striker Mario Gomez departing for Italy’s Fiorentina.

Following Goetze out of Dortmund is Felipe Santana, who has been purchased by Schalke for 1 million euros. With a runner-up position to Bayern in last season’s Bundesliga and Champions League, Dortmund will be looking to strengthen their squad and hope for better in the 2013-14 season.

BVB have added defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Werder Bremen, midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan from Shakhtar, and if these names where too easy to pronounce, they also added forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Saint-Etienne

Remaining in the North Rhine-Westphalia, we now move to the city of Leverkusen. Bayer Leverkusen has signed South Korean forward Son Heung-Min from Hamburg, who in return has replaced their attacker with Jacques Zoua from Basel.

Joining Son in Leverkusen is Bosnia-Herzegovina’s captain Emir Spahic from Sevilla. And following Andre Schurrle out of Leverkussen is Michal Kadlec to Fenerbahce, Daniel Carvajal to Real Madrid and Daniel Schwaab to Stuttgart.

Meanwhile in Gelsenkirchen, FC Schalke has been very busy during the transfer season. Joining Santana from Dortmund is Leon Goretzka from the two. Bundelsga, Adam Szalai from Mainz and Christian Clemens from Koln.

Spanish La Liga

Returning to Spanish transfers, last season’s winner Barcelona has only made the one purchase so far, the Brazilian Neymar. Eric Abidal has left for Monaco on a free transfer, and Spain’s all-time top goal-scorer David Villa has transferred to Atletico Madrid for a reported 5.1 million euros.

Real Madrid has been busy during the transfer season, hoping to catch Barca at the top of La Liga. Los Blancos have added Carvajal from Germany for 6.5 million euros, midfielder Casemiro from Sao Paulo for 6 million euro, and Isco from attacking-midfielder Malaga for a reported 27 million euros.

Ligue 1 outfit Monaco have been busy snatching up Spanish players during the transfer season. Joining Eric Abidal in Monaco next season will be Ricardo Carvalho from Real Madrid, Radamel Falcao from Atelitco Madrid, as well as Rodriguez and Moutinho from Primeira Liga club Porto.

Italian Serie A

Moving onto Italy, last season’s winner Juventus are looking to strengthen their squad, no doubt with a hope of achieving better results in Europe. La Vecchia Signora’s biggest signing is undoubtedly Carlos Tevez. Juve has also signed Spanish International Fernando Llorente from Athletic Bilbao, and Italian defender Angelo Ogbonna from crosstown neighbours Torino.

Leaving Turin for Milan, next we have a look at last season’s third placed AC Milan. Former captain Massimo Ambrosini has moved to Fiorentina on a free transfer, and Mathieu Flamini has been released but is yet to have been picked up by another club. Colombian defenders Jherson Vergara Amu and Cristian Zapata have been brought in from Colombian club Popayan for 2 million euro and Villarreal for 6 million euro respectively.

Last season’s second placed Napoli have made some impressive signings in an attempt to improve for next season. Belgium winger Dries Mertens has been signed for 9.7 million euros from PSV Eindhoven, along with Spanish winger Jose Callejon from Real Madrid for 10 million. Defender Pablo Armero has been transferred from Udinese, and Santos keeper Cabral was purchased for 5 million.

Napoli will have their hands full trying to keep striker Edison Carvani. The Uruguayan has been linked to many clubs, including PSG, Chelsea, Manchester United and Real Madrid. Remaining it Italy, and rumours have linked Fiorentina’s 23 year-old striker Stevan Joevtic to many big clubs, including Juventus and Napoli, as well as Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United and City.

Be sure to keep an eye out for further Armchair guide to transfer season articles to stay on top of all transfer news and rumours.