Transfer News & Odds

Transfer deals you might have missed this week, from Spain’s best defensive playmaker to Enzo Le Fee

By Ben Green

Transfer deals you might have missed this week, from Spain's best defensive playmaker to Enzo Le Fee

Published: 12:32, 10 July 2023

The 2023 summer transfer window is really starting to intensify, with deals getting done every which way.

Last week saw several high-profile deals go through, with Newcastle confirming the signing of Sandro Tonali, Manchester United wrapping up a move for Mason Mount, and Paris Saint-Germain announcing a quintet of new arrivals in Milan Skriniar, Marco Asensio, Manuel Ugarte, Lucas Hernandez and Lee Kang-in.

But, there were plenty of other transfers that went through last week beyond the real headline-grabbers. We’ve looked at several of those below, with signings being made by Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Inter and Atletico Madrid, not to mention several new Premier League players…

Mads Andersen

To: Luton

From: Barnsley

Fee: £4m

Premier League new boys Luton splurged on their first non-free transfer last week with the acquisition of 25-year-old Dane Mads Juel Andersen from Barnsley. The 6ft 4in centre-back was named both Barnsley’s ‘Player of the Season’ and in the League One ‘Team of the Season’, underlining his defensive heroics at Oakwell last campaign.

Bart Verbruggen

To: Brighton

From: Anderlecht

Fee: £16.3m

Brighton have not been messing around this summer as they prepare for their first-ever season in Europe. Roberto De Zerbi has already brought in four new players, hoping to remedy the void created by Alexis Mac Allister’s move to Liverpool. Joao Pedro, Mahmoud Dahoud and James Milner have all come in, with Dutch U21 ‘keeper Bart Verbruggen joining them. The 20-year-old was sensational for Anderlecht in Europe last term and has cultivated a very good reputation as a modern shot-stopper, which should make him tailor-made for De Zerbi’s possession-heavy set-up.

Javi Galan

To: Atletico Madrid

From: Celta Vigo

Fee: £4.3m

Diego Simeone has produced wonders to bring in arguably La Liga’s most attack-minded full-back this summer for less than £5m. The 28-year-old was one of only two defenders in 2022/23 to register triple digits for take-ons (133), alongside Atleti’s Yannick Carrasco (111), who is used as a wing-back under Simeone. Galan was also the only defender to register triple digits for tackles (104), so he should absolutely flourish at the Metropolitano.

Marcelo Brozovic

To: Al-Nassr

From: Inter

Fee: £15.5m

The football revolution in Saudi Arabia continues to grow with Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr moving to pick up another star-studded name in Champions League finalist Marcelo Brozovic. The Croatia international was linked with a move to Barcelona, but has opted for Riyadh, linking up with the likes of David Ospina and Talisca.

Felix Nmecha

To: Borussia Dortmund

From: Wolfsburg

Fee: £25.8m

With Mahmoud Dahoud moving to Brighton, new boy Felix Nmecha has inherited his No. 8 shirt in the Ruhr Valley and he should provide a real injection of power and creativity to alleviate the void created by Jude Bellingham’s exit. Nmecha came through the Manchester City academy but sought pastures new in Wolfsburg to further his development. His exploits in Lower Saxony yielded 50 appearances and a senior cap for Germany earlier this year — and now Dortmund have snapped him up.

Enzo Le Fee

To: Rennes

From: Lorient

Fee: £17.1m

Enzo Le Fee is one of the most skilful, creative, versatile and determined midfielders in France and that will go a long way to explaining his £17.1m price tag. The 23-year-old is easily good enough to play for one of Europe’s top clubs, hence links to the Premier League and Borussia Dortmund, but the France U21 international has opted to stay in Brittany by moving from Lorient to Rennes.

Roberto Firmino

To: Al-Ahli

From: Liverpool

Fee: Free transfer

The emblematic player of Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool era, Roberto Firmino has also opted for the Saudi gravy train and linked up with Edouard Mendy in Jeddah. Soon to be 32, Firmino has left Europe after 12 years, picking up a Premier League and Champions League winner’s during that time.

Nathan Collins

To: Brentford

From: Wolves

Fee: £23m

Described as the ‘perfect Brentford player’ by Thomas Frank, Nathan Collins has joined the west London club for a hefty fee, but he has all the attributes to really accelerate his game in the Premier League. Adept on the ball and strong in the challenge, Frank will be hoping Collins can really take his defence to another level.

Ben Brereton Diaz

To: Villarreal

From: Blackburn Rovers

Fee: Free transfer

Born in Staffordshire, made in Chile, Brereton Diaz is a former England U20 international but now turns out at senior level for La Roja. The 24-year-old has spent all of his career in the lower leagues of English football for the likes of Nottingham Forest and Blackburn Rovers, and was even in the academies of both Stoke City and Manchester United, but he is now jetting off to Castellon to turn out for The Yellow Submarine.

Caglar Soyuncu

To: Atletico Madrid

From: Leicester City

Fee: Free transfer

Mop-haired, occasionally clumsy and utterly robust, there is an element of curiosity to see how Caglar Soyuncu performs under Simeone. It almost feels like it could go one of two ways; a redemption arc in the form of Stefan Savic, or utterly chaotic. Either way, it should be fun viewing.

Inigo Martinez

To: Barcelona

From: Athletic Club

Fee: Free transfer

The 20-capped Spain international has spent his entire career in the Basque Country, but he will now be taking his exploits to Catalonia. Barcelona have had to be savvy with their money this summer, with the club hamstrung by serious financial restrictions, but they’ve been smart so far with the free signings of two vastly experienced players in Ilkay Gundogan and 32-year-old Martinez.

Tiago Tomas

To: Wolfsburg

From: Sporting CP

Fee: £6.8m

Looking to use some of the funds generated from the Nmecha sale, Wolfsburg have acquired the services of 21-year-old Portuguese forward Tiago Tomas. The Portugal U21 international has spent the last 18 months out on loan at fellow German club Stuttgart, but will now be turning out permanently for Wolfsburg.

Angel Di Maria

To: Benfica

From: Juventus

Fee: Free transfer

Fair play to Angel Di Maria. At 35, it would have been easy for the veteran playmaker to secure a cushy sinecure in Saudi Arabia or possibly the MLS, but the World Cup winner has returned to his first European club. Di Maria spent three years at the Estadio da Luz when he first hopped across the Atlantic from Rosario Central, and now, over a decade later, he is back in Benfica colours.

Ellyes Skhiri

To: Eintracht Frankfurt

From: Cologne

Fee: Free transfer

Eintracht Frankfurt are usually very savvy with transfers, and Ellyes Skhiri represents another tidy piece of business. Signed on a free transfer following the expiration of his contract with Cologne, the midfield enforcer will be the centrepiece of Dino Toppmoller’s new-look side.

Ludovic Blas

To: Rennes

From: Nantes

Fee: £12.8m

Ludovic Blas has made the bold decision to leave Nantes for ‘Derby Breton’ rivals Rennes and even pleaded to fans for understanding, but it’s unlikely to stem the bad blood when these two rivals meet next season. A prolific midfield force, Blas has been likened to Riyad Mahrez across various stages in his career and should really enhance Les Rennais‘ starting XI.

Arda Guler

To: Real Madrid

From: Fenerbahce

Fee: £17m

Florentino Perez said he was done with signings this summer after picking up Joselu, but he just couldn’t resist another wonderkid. Teenage sensation Guler tore up the Super Lig last season with his repertoire of tricks, pirouettes and shimmies and will be hoping to accelerate his development in a league that, not only embraces but actively encourages ingenuity and creative expression.

Cesar Azpilicueta

To: Atletico Madrid

From: Chelsea

Fee: Free transfer

Some solid business being done here by Atleti, who have secured the services of stalwart and veteran Cesar Azpilicueta. The Chelsea fan favourite will be 34 next month, but his versatility and experience should stand him in good stead in Simeone’s back-three system.

Granit Xhaka

To: Bayer Leverkusen

From: Arsenal

Fee: £21.5m

Freeing up room for the inevitable signing of Declan Rice, Arsenal have done superbly to get over £20m for their former captain. Granit Xhaka was a polarising figure in north London, but leaves a hero following a renaissance after he was once booed off the pitch in a home match against Crystal Palace. He was integral to Mikel Arteta’s midfield last term as Arsenal chased the Premier League title and his dressing-room voice won’t be easy to replace.

Ayoze Perez

To: Betis

From: Leicester City

Fee: Free transfer

Big changes are taking place at the King Power following Leicester’s relegation, and following the likes of James Maddison out of the door is Ayoze Perez, who never really took his game to the next level following that £30m move from Newcastle United in 2019. The former Spain U21 international returns to his homeland after nearly a decade in England, linking up with Betis.

Robin Koch

To: Eintracht Frankfurt

From: Leeds

Fee: Loan

Another casualty of a Premier League relegation, Robin Koch has also returned to his homeland following Leeds’ top-flight exit. The eight-capped Germany international becomes Frankfurt’s fifth summer signing after Willian Pacho, Hugo Larsson, Ansgar Knauff and the aforementioned Skhiri.

Davide Frattesi

To: Inter

From: Sassuolo

Fee: Loan

One of those trademark Serie A loan deals, Inter have moved quick to replace their midfield stalwart, Brozovic. Davide Frattesi is the latest star to emerge from Sassuolo, and the six-capped Italy international joins Marcus Thuram through the doors at the San Siro.

Sead Kolasinac

To: Atalanta

From: Marseille

Fee: Free transfer

Having secured the services of Mitchel Bakker from Bayer Leverkusen, Gian Piero Gasperini has sought to further bolster his defensive flanks with the signing of former Arsenal wing-back Sead Kolasinac. An experienced and bruising defender, the Bosnian should bring some real grit and bite to Atalanta’s wings.