It’s July 1 which means players have officially been cleared to move clubs, either joining their new team or becoming a free agent.
The transfer world is currently dominated by two massive stories as we enter July, one of which being the fact that Lionel Messi has become a free agent following the end of his Barcelona contract. There is also the news of Jadon Sancho’s move from Borussia Dortmund to Manchester United, with the German club confirming an agreement has been reached in principle, for a fix transfer fee of £73m.
But Sancho to Man Utd isn’t the only deal happening in Europe right now. In fact, as clubs start to return for pre-season, a number of transfers have been made with a view to get ready for the 2021/22 season – which is set to get underway in just over a month’s time.
So, amidst all the Sancho excitement (and Euro 2020 and Copa America), what are the recent done deals that may have slipped under the radar? We’ve picked out 10 exciting moves from the past week.
1. Jean-Clair Todibo
— OGC Nice 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@ogcnice_eng) June 27, 2021
Jean-Clair Todibo spent the second half of last season on loan at Nice from Barcelona and played 15 Ligue 1 matches in total, missing just two following his debut in February. The centre-back clearly did enough to impress the Nice hierarchy as they have now signed Todibo on a permanent deal, bringing an end to his unsuccessful two-year spell at Barcelona.
2. Nathan Collins
— Burnley FC (@BurnleyOfficial) June 24, 2021
From: Stoke City
Burnley have been preparing for the new Premier League season by adding reinforcements to their defence, signing 20-year-old centre-back Nathan Collins from Stoke City on a four-deal deal. Collins joined Stoke in 2017 and, after starting in their academy, broke through to make 49 appearances for the Potters’ first team including 39 in the Championship. In announcing the move, Burnley chairman Alan Pace dubbed Collins as “one of the most promising young players in the country”.
3. Roberto Soldado
¡Bienvenido a tu nueva casa! 🔵🔴🐸
— Levante UD 🐸 (@LevanteUD) June 28, 2021
Yes, that Roberto Soldado is still knocking about and has joined his ninth club at the age of 36. The former Real Madrid, Valencia and Tottenham Hotspur striker spent the last two seasons at Granada, scoring 25 times in 82 games across all competitions including 16 in La Liga and has moved back to Valencia (the place), joining Levante on a two-year deal.
4. Konrad de La Fuente
— Olympique de Marseille 🇬🇧 🇺🇸 (@OM_English) June 29, 2021
Another Barcelona departure, Konrad de La Fuente came through the famed La Masia academy to play three times for the Blaugrana first team last season, including two appearances in the Champions League (albeit accumulating just 17 minutes). But the 19-year-old American winger was not able to make his La Liga debut and has, instead, joined Marseille on a permanent deal for €3m, with Barcelona retaining a percentage of any future sale.
5. Sven Ulreich
To: Bayern Munich
Sven Ulreich left Bayern Munich for Hamburg on a permanent deal in the summer of 2020 but just one year later he has returning, joining the German champions on a one-year deal. Ulreich previously spent five years at Bayern between 2015 and 2020, making 70 appearances as back up for Manuel Neuer. But why would they re-sign Ulreich? They already have a good backup goalkeeper, don’t they?
6. Alexander Nubel
Meanwhile, Sven #Ulreich will return on a free from Hamburger SV as our back-up goalkeeper.
— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) June 27, 2021
From: Bayern Munich
To: Monaco (loan)
Here’s why Bayern have signed Ulreich. At the same time his arrival was announced, Bayern confirmed the departure of Alexander Nubel on a two-year loan deal to Monaco. Nubel joined from Schalke last summer with a long-term view to replace Neuer, while being his backup until that happens. The 24-year-old played just three times last season, however, as Neuer proved undroppable, and will move to Monaco looking for playing time – though Bayern have an option to recall him after one year.
7. Davy Propper
— PSV International (@psveindhoven) June 23, 2021
To: PSV Eindhoven
Four years ago, Davy Propper left PSV Eindhoven for Brighton in a club-record deal and became a key member of the Seagulls’ Premier League squad, playing 107 times in England’s top flight on top of other cup appearances. But Propper has now returned to PSV on a reported free transfer (despite having two years left on his Brighton deal), joining the Dutch club on a two-year contract.
8. Ben Wilmot
Stoke City 🤝 @BenWilmot6
We are delighted to announce the signing of Ben Wilmot from Watford on a four-year deal.#SCFC 🔴⚪️
— Stoke City FC (@stokecity) June 24, 2021
To: Stoke City
Stoke wasted very little time in replacing Collins, signing Ben Wilmot from Watford on a four-year deal. Wilmot, 21, played 25 times for Watford last season as the Hornets secured promotion back to the Premier League, though his playing time towards the end of the campaign was stuttered.
9. Kevin-Prince Boateng
Welcome home, @KPBofficial! 💙🤍
— Hertha Berlin (@HerthaBSC_EN) June 23, 2021
To: Hertha Berlin
Kevin-Prince Boateng has done the rounds in recent years but the former Portsmouth and Barcelona forward has returned to where it all began, joining boyhood club Hertha Berlin on a one-year deal. The 34-year-old spent last season in Serie B with Monza, playing 25 times as they finished third, only missing out on promotion to Serie A in the play-offs.
10. Nicolas Gonzalez
— ACF Fiorentina English (@ACFFiorentinaEN) June 23, 2021
Nicolas Gonzalez may currently be representing Argentina at Copa America, but the winger has signed for Fiorentina on a five-year deal from Stuttgart, for a reported £23.1m. The 23-year-old joined Stuttgart from Argentinos Juniors in 2018 and, in his three years in Germany, scoring 23 goals in 79 appearances.