Gareth Bale, Neymar, Mesut Ozil, Gonzalo Higuain and David Villa all feature.
It was a fascinating deadline day yesterday across Europe with several top deals going down, tens of millions in cash changing hands and renewed optimism being created in different circles of supporters.
Here are the top ten deals involving La Liga sides from deadline day and the summer transfer window.
1) Gareth Bale – Tottenham Hotspur to Real Madrid
Bale’s move to Real Madrid for a world record fee of just over £85 million has to be the top deal. The Welshman looked completely overawed by the occasion of being presented as a Real Madrid player, perfectly demonstrated by his inability to do more than a dozen keepy-ups.
2) Radamel Falcao – Atletico Madrid to AS Monaco
Falcao was touted as a possible signing for several Premier League clubs including Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United. Early on, it looked as though those sides could get a foot in the door and talk to him and his representatives but Monaco blew everyone out of the water throwing down €60 million to make the deal happen.
3) Neymar – Santos to Barcelona
Barcelona worked hard and they worked quickly to ensure that the €57 million capture of Brazilian sensation Neymar went through early. Perhaps Barcelona are preparing an eventual replacement for Lionel Messi but regardless of their intention, they have secured the future of one of the world’s best attacking players.
4) Mesut Ozil – Real Madrid to Arsenal
It’s a shame that La Liga has lost such a talented and efficient midfielder but it’s a cracking signing for the Gunners. Arsene Wenger had to break with tradition, smashing the club’s transfer record with a £42.5 million deal for the player but if he can guide the Gunners to some silverware, he won’t care one little bit.
5) Asier Illarramendi – Real Sociedad to Real Madrid
Real Madrid invested €38 million in the holding midfield player, just 23-years-old and having played for Spain at four different levels already in his career. He offers Real Madrid something they haven’t always had which is the sort of player who protects the back four.
6) Gonzalo Higuain – Real Madrid to Napoli
Superb bit of business by Real Madrid to offload a forward and ease the pressure over their attacking pack. Arsenal were very much in the running to sign the Argentinian forward but Napoli were the quickest to put their cash on the table, around €37 million, giving Rafael Benitez a superb attacking option for as long as he and the player are at the Serie A club.
7) Roberto Soldado – Valencia to Tottenham Hotspur
This was one of the more fascinating transfers to watch because it seemed like a real tug of ware between Valencia, demanding £26 million, and Spurs, who boast one of the best businessmen in football in Daniel Levy. Eventually Valencia got their way but Spurs signed a terrific forward to help cope with the loss of Bale.
8) Isco – Malaga to Real Madrid
There is a reason Manchester City tried so hard to get Isco to follow Manuel Pellegrini to the Etihad Stadium, but he chose Real Madrid in a €27 million deal. Isco is one of the best midfield prospects in Spain and his arrival at the Bernabeu ensures that the spine of the Real Madrid team is protected for several years.
9) Thiago Alcantara – Barcelona to Bayern Munich
Manchester United will still be kicking themselves over not getting their hands on Thiago, who was swayed by the influence of former boss Pep Guardiola. Thiago’s arrival at Bayern Munich simply enhances the German side’s status as one of the most dangerous teams in European football. The deal was worth €25 million.
10) David Villa – Barcelona to Atletico Madrid
You can’t help but sit back and praise Atletico Madrid for this piece of business. Having just seen Falcao move to Monaco and with Liverpool and Spurs hunting Villa like sharks, they convinced him to stay in Spanish football, potentially using their Champions League status to sway his decision.
image: © James Boyes