Arguably the craziest transfer window in the history of football is now behind us. The summer saw the movement of players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Sergio Ramos, Sergio Aguero, Romelu Lukaku, Jadon Sancho, Antoine Griezmann and Eduardo Camavinga all in the span of a few weeks.
With the squads finalised for the next six months, here are the winners and losers from the business window of 2021.
Barcelona were once at the top of the Deloitte Money Football League with a record-breaking annual revenue of €840.1 million (£720m/$990m). Now, they’re approximately €1.3 billion (£1.1bn/$1.5bn) in debt.
Arguably the biggest blow dealt with them this summer was the departure of Lionel Messi owing to contract issues. But the fact that they still managed to get Antoine Griezmann out on loan on the final day begs the question of whether Barcelona would have been able to re-sign Messi if they agreed to ship the Frenchman out earlier.
Paris Saint-Germain had one of the most successful transfer windows in history. They not only signed Lionel Messi, Sergio Ramos, Gianluigi Donnarumma and Gini Wijnaldum as free agents but also completed the transfers of Achraf Hakimi and Nuno Mendes.
With what seems to be the most star-studded squad on the continent, PSG now seem to be the favourites to lift the Champions League trophy.
Losers: Harry Kane and Pep Guardiola
Kane was quite determined to leave the club at the beginning of the transfer window and Man City were the only club in a position to get his signature. But, Daniel Levy refused to accept the bids made by the Premier League champions and Kane is now focused on staying at Spurs and working under Nuno Espirito Santo.
Guardiola did not sign a striker to replace Sergio Aguero, who left for Barcelona this summer, and will turn to Gabriel Jesus for the season. There are rumours that City will be in the race to sign Erling Haaland next summer, but it is still a long way off.
Winners: Manchester United
The drama following the Super League plans seems like forever ago, and United’s business in the summer has done well to erase the recent memories from the minds of fans and keep them happy.
Not only has Jadon Sancho been delivered as promised, but they have also signed Raphael Varane and made the dream return of Cristiano Ronaldo a reality for all fans of the club, setting them up as serious contenders for the title.
Losers: Kylian Mbappe
Mbappe’s stance was clear when he decided to not renew his contract with PSG: he wanted to leave and join Real Madrid. Despite receiving three bids from the Spanish giants, PSG held on to their talent.
Mbappe will now have to play for PSG alongside Lionel Messi and Neymar, and will have the opportunity to sign for Real Madrid as a free agent in one year’s time.
Winners: Bayern Munich
Not only did the Bavarian giants manage to part ways with David Alaba, Jerome Boateng and Javi Martinez to lighten up the squad, they also managed to sign top players from their rivals to continue with their trend.
Julian Nagelsmann, Marcel Sabitzer and Dayot Upamecano have been signed from RB Leipzig this summer. They also managed to keep hold of Robert Lewandowski and extend the contracts of Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka as well.