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Poll: Did Manchester United have the best transfer window in Europe?

Manchester United made some pretty huge waves in the transfer market this summer, but how does their business compare to that of some of Europe’s big spenders? Cast your vote here.

Hull City v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

With around £135 million spent on four star players this summer, Manchester United can be pretty pleased with their transfer window.

In fact, with the arrival of Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Eric Bailly, it’s hard to think of a time when the club did quite so well in the transfer market.

Granted, a lot of money was spent, but the needs of the squad were adressed. World class players were signed to appease the fans and the manager, while the sponsors and internal commercial departments have been furnished with new, big-name superstars to promote.

Furthermore, as excruciating as the Pogba saga became, all of United’s business was done early, meaning there was no scramble for last-minute reinforcements on deadline day.

It was a great summer of business, I think we can all agree. But how does United’s transfer window compare to that of some of Europe’s other big spenders?


The Spanish champions eschewed the usual dynamic popular among the two El Clásico sides of aquiring highly-priced ready-made superstars, in favour of a more considered, joined-up and long-term approach this summer.

Several young, high quality players have been signed with a view to adding depth to the squad and competition for places, while also providing possible successors to some of the older first-team stars.

In has come goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen from Ajax (£11 million), centre-back Samuel Umtiti from Lyon (£21 million), left-back Lucas Digne from Paris Saint Germain (£14 million), midfielders Denis Suárez from Villarreal (£2.75 million) and André Gomes from Valencia (£30 million), and striker Paco Alcácer from Valencia (£25 milion).

Quite remarkably, four of the five outfield players Barça signed were 22 at the time of joining the club. The only exception is Alcácer, who officially signed for the club on his 23rd birthday.

In terms of departures, several youngsters have left on loan, including Munir El Haddadi and the highly-rated Sergi Samper, with Croatian prodigy Alen Halilovic joining Hamburg on a permanent deal, although Barça included a byuback option in the agreement. Legendary full-back Dani Alves also left the club, joining Juventus on a free transfer, with Claudio Bravo, Marc Bartra and Adriano all also moving on.

Barcelona’s net spend for this transfer window was around £70 million.


Serie A champions Juventus have been extremely busy this summer. Obviously a certain Paul Pogba elected to leave the club, but not before the Old Lady received a world record £89 million fee for the Frenchman.

Juve’s marquee signing of this window is 28-year-old striker Gonzalo Higuaín, who became the joint-third most expensive player in history when moving to Turin from Napoli for €90 million.

In addition to Higuaín, the Bianconeri have signed Dani Alves from Barcelona (free), midfielder Miralem Pjanic from Roma (£27 million), winger Marco Pjaca from Dinamo Zagreb (£19.5 million), with Juan Cuadrado and Mehdi Benatia both being brought in on loan from Chelsea and Bayern Munich respectively. Mario Lemina has also been signed permanently from Marseille for £8 million following a successful loan spell.

As well as the loss of Pogba, Juve suffered a blow when Real Madrid decided to exercise their €30 million buyback option on Álvaro Morata.

Other notable departures were Simone Zaza who has joined West Ham United on loan, Roberto Perreyra who has signed for Watford for £11 million, and Simone Padoin’s £500,000 switch to Cagliari.

Approx. net spend: -£1 million

Manchester City

The Noisy Neighbours have done an eye-watering amount of business this summer, with new manager Pep Guardiola trying to mould the squad to fit his system.

Incomings: John Stones (£47.5 million), Leroy Sané (£42.5 million), Ilkay Gündoğan (£23 million), Gabriel Jesus (£27 million - will remain with Palmeiras until January), Claudio Bravo (£15 million), Nolito (£15 million), Marlos Moreno (£5 million), Geronimo Rulli (£4 million - sold on to Real Sociedad with buyback fee agreed), Oleksandr Zinchenko (£1.7 million).

In terms of major outgoings, Edin Dzeko signed for Roma for £9 million, while the rest were loan deals for the likes of Joe Hart, Wilfried Bony, Eliaquim Mangala and Jason Denayer.

Approx net spend: £160 million

Borussia Dortmund

Once again, Borussia Dortmund have had to deal with Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich signing one of their star players: this time it was captain and star defender Mats Hummels. BVB also lost Ilkay Gündoğan to Manchester City and Henrikh Mkhitaryan to United.

But it’s not all bad news for Dortmund: the Black and Yellows have snapped up some of the Continent’s most promising young players in the shape of the outstanding French teenager Ousmane Dembélé from Rennes (£12.75 million), left-back Raphaël Guerreiro from Lorient (£10 million), Emre Mor from Nordsjælland (£6 million) and Mikel Merino from Osasuna (£3 million).

In their attempt to add some experience to the host of new youngsters, Dortmund managed to reverse the established dynamic by signing Sebastian Rode (£10 million) and Mario Götze (£18.7 million) from Bayern Munich. They have also acquired ball-playing defender Marc Bartra from Barcelona (£6.8 million) as a replacement for Hummels and André Schürrle from Wolfsburg.

Approx. net spend: -£1.5 million

Bayern Munich

Compared with the above teams, Bayern Munich have been fairly quiet this summer. But what little business they have done, has been done with their trademark efficiency and thoughtfulness.

Mats Hummels has been signed from Borussia Dortmund (£30 million). The 27-year-old will link up with Germany team-mate Jerome Boateng in the centre of the Bayern defence. And teenage midfield sensation Renato Sanches has been brought in from Benfica for around £30 million (that figure could almost double if a string of add-on conditions are met).

The Bundesliga champions have made around £45 million on the departures of Götze and Rode (Borussia Dortmund), Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (Southampton), and Mehdi Benatia (Juventus - loan).

Approx. net spend: £15 million

Cast your vote below: which club do you think has had the best summer transfer window?