January transfer window – Ranking every big signing of the best European clubs


The coronavirus pandemic continues to impact football finances, but unlike in recent times, the January window will be open as usual for top European leagues. (Find out when each league’s window opens and closes here.)

European clubs from Italian Serie A (550 million euros), German Bundesliga (415 million euros), French Ligue 1 (375 million euros) and Spanish LaLiga (295 million euros) have spent much less over the summer, but the Premier League got big and splashed € 1.1 billion on players, according to Deloitte. January is generally a calm month, but will world events see different strategies for the top teams?

Here are the notes for all major transactions. The most recent articles are at the top; each day is in the order of the highest price. If you don’t see a note for a completed move, come back later. All charges are reported unless confirmed with an asterisk.

January 4th

RB Leipzig rating: D +
Ajax Rating: C

What a strange gesture. After leaving Ajax on a free transfer when they signed another striker (Sebastien Haller) this summer, Brobbey will return after struggling to make an impact in Germany. The 19-year-old has had two assists in nine Bundesliga games, but he feels like he gave up too easily after just six months, and Leipzig hasn’t seen anything to suggest keeping him.

Ironically, Ajax need a replacement for Haller when he leaves for the Africa Cup of Nations in January. Brobbey knows the club, knows the style of play, but it’s a bit of a gamble considering how he’s gone. Ajax aren’t taking too many risks on a six-month loan, but the fans might not be so keen on seeing him again.

January 3

Man City Rating: A-
Barcelona rating: B +

Just over a year after signing Spain striker Valencia for around € 23million, City opted to transfer him for more than double that fee. Pep Guardiola has a plethora of attacking players in his place so they have cover, but it seems odd to let him go mid-season. Also, at 21, he was a player who could have represented the future of the club.

With 1.4 billion euros in debt, it’s interesting how Barca managed to find 55million euros to spend on a player. Obviously, this came from a bank loan, a route they took in spectacular fashion when signing Antoine Griezmann for € 120million from Atletico Madrid in 2019. Neither can Barca No longer save Torres as long as they haven’t removed some current players from the payroll, so it seems a gamble. Terrific player, but is he worth it amid Barca’s financial struggles?

FC Dallas rating: A-
FC Augsburg rating: A

What 12 months it has been for Pepi. Thirteen goals in 31 league appearances for Dallas and a call-up for the United States Men’s National Team that saw him score three goals – all in the World Cup playoffs – in seven appearances. He will be missed in Dallas, but $ 20million will go a long way in MLS and they couldn’t deny him a chance to shine in Europe.

With their highest 12th position since 2015-16, Augsburg is used to living in the lower half of the Bundesliga. A fifth place finish in 2014-15 was an anomaly, and relegation battles are the norm for pushing Europe – which makes it all the more incredible how they landed the 18-year-old. Reports had linked him with Man City, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Bayern and, most recently, Wolfsburg. But Augsburg came out on top and he should develop well with the minutes he will play.


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