Does spending the most pay off on the pitch? Arsenal would tentatively argue it does, remaining the only Premier League team unbeaten with three games gone after lavishing the largest net outlay of any of their rivals during the summer transfer window.
Chelsea’s colossal investment is less convincing: Thomas Tuchel made Marc Cucurella the most expensive full-back in history when he signed from Brighton for more than £60m in August, only for the Blues’ backline to be battered by Leeds in a 3-0 defeat at Elland Road that suggested the visitors may struggle to challenge at the top in 2022/23.
Barcelona’s seemingly scattergun approach to finances saw them fork out the most in Spain, faltering with a goalless draw in their first game of the La Liga season despite adding Raphinha and Robert Lewandowski to their ranks.
When does the spending have to temporarily stop around Europe and the world? What are the biggest current and potential transfers? The Sporting News sizes up the market.
When does the transfer window close?
- The summer transfer window in England opened on June 10, 2022 and comes to an end on September 1 at 23:00 local time.
- EFL clubs can sign players on emergency loans after the deadline.
- The summer transfer period in Spain opened on July 1, 2022 and ends on September 1 at 22:59.
- Largely similar to the English window with regards to international transactions.
Germany and Italy
- In Germany and Italy, their transfer window commenced on July 1, 2022 and concludes on September 1 at 17:00 CEST.
- This falls in line with the starting point of the Spanish window, which is standard practice for most European leagues.
- Ligue 1 and other French tiers are following the path of the Premier League. They opened their doors for business on June 10 and will close on September 1 at 23:59.
Transfer windows beyond Europe — key leagues in North, South America, and Australia
USA – MLS
- The primary transfer window has already taken place – running from February 10, 2022 to May 4.
- The secondary transfer window (mid-season) opened on July 7, 2022 and ran until August 4.
- Major League Soccer follows different guidelines due to their regular season running over a single year — February 26 to October 9, with the MLS Cup final scheduled on November 5, 2022.
Argentina and Brazil
- The Brazilian secondary transfer quarter opened on July 18 and ended on August 15, with the 2022 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A taking place between April 9 and November 13, 2022.
- In Argentina, their transfer window opened much earlier, running from May 16 to August 7, 2022. This early start is due to their relatively short 2022 campaign, which started on June 5 and ends on October 23, using a round-robin format.
- The transfer window for the new campaign is set to run until October 15.
What are the biggest transfers of the window so far?
Bayern Munich have spent an initial £57m on defender Matthijs de Ligt, Tottenham have given Everton £50m for livewire Richarlison and Raphinha is likely to pocket Leeds more than £50m from Barca.
Here are some of the other headline-grabbing transfers from the window.
Erling Haaland to Manchester City
City are likely to spend more than £85m in total for Haaland, who joined them in July having been in scintillating form in 2021/22, scoring 29 goals in 30 appearances for Borussia Dortmund as they finished as runners-up in the Bundesliga.
Many see the 21-year-old him as the final piece to Pep Guardiola’s jigsaw as the Catalan aims to bring the UEFA Champions League trophy to the Etihad Stadium.
Haaland already looks likely to light up the Premier League, scoring both times in City’s opening 2-0 win at West Ham and finding the net again in their next away game, when they travelled to Newcastle.
Antonio Rudiger to Real Madrid
Continuing their shrewd recruitment strategy, the Spanish champions agreed a deal to sign Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger on a free transfer this summer.
His contract at the Santiago Bernabeu is runs until 2026, and Los Blancos have picked up an elite central defender in the prime of his career.
The 29-year-old started Real Madrid’s 2-1 win at Almeria and came off the bench as they beat Celta Vigo 4-1 to continue their perfect start to the season.
Robert Lewandowski to Barcelona
With his contract at Bayern Munich due to expire in 2023, there was an inevitability to reigning FIFA Best Men’s Player Lewandowski joining Barcelona.
Amid continuing financial chaos that made it uncertain Barca would be able to register some of their new signings, Lewandowski started their first game of the season at home to Rayo Vallecano.
Alas, a mooted £150,000-a-week wage did not result in any goals for Lewandowski or the his new club to kick off what they hope will be a new era, but the Pole did bag his first goal after just one minute in a 4-1 win over Real Socieded. He bagged another in the second half and is clearly now up and running.
Darwin Nunez to Liverpool
Extravagantly prolific for Portuguese side Benfica last season, Nunez has had a mixed start since his £85m switch to Anfield, representing a club-record fee for Liverpool.
The Uruguay striker gave a thrilling cameo when he came on shortly into the second half during Liverpool’s opener at Fulham, scoring and setting up Mohamed Salah for his side’s second equaliser in a 2-2 draw.
That resulted in Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp handing Nunez his first start when Crystal Palace visited the Reds. He had a less successful second half this time, earning a red card for an elbow which means he is suspended for three games.
Aurelien Tchouameni to Real Madrid
Midfielder Tchouameni joined Madrid from Monaco in June for a fee that could reportedly rise to 100 millions euros (£85m).
The 22-year-old was only deployed from the bench in his new club’s 2-0 Super Cup win over Eintracht Frankfurt.
The France international and former Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year has started both of Madrid’s first La Liga matches of the season since then.
What are the biggest potential transfers of the rest of the transfer window?
There is always the possibility of seismic transfers taking everyone by surprise during the final days – and even hours – of the window being open.
Here are a few of the more keenly-anticipated moves that could come to fruition imminently.
Cristiano Ronaldo to Atletico Madrid
When Ronaldo made clear his desire to leave United in pre-season, the swaggering five-time Ballon d’Or winner must have assumed he would get his way.
Ronaldo is agitating to join a club in the Champions League. Borussia Dortmund are reportedly not interested, leaving Atletico Madrid looking like the most realistic proposition of the teams the 37-year-old has been linked with.
Atleti fans unfurled a banner at a game in July saying that Ronaldo is not welcome. The Portugal captain has looked a frustrated figure during United’s dreadful start to the season, emerging from the bench in the 2-1 defeat to Brighton and starting the 4-0 thrashing at Brentford.
Memphis Depay to Juventus
Netherlands forward Depay is said to be close to finalising an agreement to terminate his contract early at Barcelona.
Depay’s agent has reportedly been in Italy to speak with Juventus, who are frontrunners for his signature.
Offloading Depay would ease Barca’s uneven financial burden, and there is still a chance that other leading clubs will try to beat Juve to the signing.
Frenkie de Jong to Manchester United
United have been after Netherlands midfielder De Jong all summer and are running out of time to turn the poorly-kept secret in to a reality.
New manager Erik ten Hag has reportedly been given something of a blank chequebook to guide his team clear of their early position at the bottom of the table. Xavi, his Barca counterpart, has called De Jong a “spectacular player”.
Midfielder Casemiro’s arrival from Real Madrid for £60m looks little more than a formality, and United have also been consistently linked with an expensive move for Ajax winger Antony and a bid for PSV Eindhoven winger Cody Gakpo.
Wesley Fofana to Chelsea
Leicester left central defender Fofana out of their squad for their second home Premier League match of the season following intense speculation that Chelsea have had huge bids rejected for the 21-year-old.
Foxes manager Brendan Rodgers confirmed that Fofana had been omitted because of concerns over his focus but claimed that Leicester hope to keep him.
Chelsea evidently remain keen to use their spending might despite splashing out on Cucurella.