With the cut-off for the summer transfer window closing in the UK at 6pm yesterday, European football teams will have to make do with what they have until January – with attention refocusing on the actual action rather than speculation away from it.
Levels of expenditure continue to be significantly high across the continent’s top five leagues, with some standout moves catching the eye.
Here are the winners and losers from the 2015 summer transfer window.
The Premier League landscape has been changed to some degree by the level of expenditure of the top clubs, with a host of stellar names moving teams.
Manchester United were arguably the most active major side in the market, securing the signature of five players early in the window, including Memphis Depay, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin.
The Old Trafford outfit’s final days of the window were caught up with the future of David De Gea, which will be in Manchester for the time being, while the Red Devils bolstered their attacking ranks with a bumper deal to land Anthony Martial from Monaco.
Cross-town rivals and season frontrunners Manchester City have been decisive in their business, signing three proven international-calibre performers in the form of Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne and Nicolas Otamendi.
The loan capture of Radamel Falcao and signings of Pedro and Baba Rahman bolster the Blues, but the champions did not replicate last summer’s stellar business.
Liverpool lost Raheem Sterling and Steven Gerrard but moved to conduct their business early and look stronger for it.
The big-money signings of Christian Benteke, Nathaniel Clyne and Roberto Firmino have been accompanied by shrewd acquisitions of James Milner and Joe Gomez.
Tottenham failed to land Saido Berahino in the dying hours of the window, but can be happy with the captures of Toby Alderweireld, Clinton N’Jie and Heung-min Son; the lack of a new number nine leaves them short though.
Arsenal were the only team in Europe’s top five leagues not to sign an outfield player, but will be confident their purchase of Petr Cech has solved their goalkeeping issues.
Elsewhere, West Ham have done some stellar business in landing Dimitri Payet and Angelo Ogbonna, while the deadline day signings of loan pair Victor Moses and Alex Song, and the purchases of Michail Antonio and Nikica Jelavic ,stand out.
Crystal Palace’s excellent summer business has helped them to start well this term, with the capture of Yohan Cabaye in particular a standout transaction.
Winners – Man City, Liverpool, West Ham, Crystal Palace
Losers – Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal
With Barcelona serving a transfer ban and Real Madrid not pursuing any Galacticos this summer, it was down to La Liga’s other front runners to cause a stir over the off-season.
The reigning European champions added Aleix Vidal and Arda Turan to their ranks to be introduced in January, while Rafa Benitez’s charges added Danilo and Mateo Kovacic – but no De Gea.
Atletico Madrid had something of a reshuffle, parting company with the likes of Mario Mandzukic, Joao Miranda, Mario Suarez and Raul Garcia, but adding quality in their place.
The acquisitions of Luicano Vietto and Jackson Martinez will reinvigorate Diego Simeone’s attack, while the return of Filipe Luis is a good move for all parties. Stefan Savic and Matias Kranevitter have also arrived at the Vicente Calderon.
Sevilla may well have lost Vidal and key striker Carlos Bacca, but reinvested to land Ciro Immobile, Fernando Llorente and Yevhen Konoplyanka in their place.
Valencia replaced Otamendi with Aymen Abdennour, while also making moves for the likes of Rodrigo, Alvaro Negredo and Andre Gomes permanent.
Villarreal have seemingly reinvigorated Roberto Soldado, while Real Betis signed former favourite Joaquin, along with Rafael van der Vaart and Real Sociedad broke their transfer record to resign midfielder Asier Illarramendi.
Winners – Atletico Madrid, Real Sociedad
Losers – Real Madrid
Transfer spend in Italy has significantly increased from 12 months ago, with the race for this season’s Scudetto set to be more tightly contested as a result.
Champions Juventus have built their recent success around continuity, but face a period of transition that threatens their dominance.
The loss of key trio Carlos Tevez, Arturo Vidal and Andrea Pirlo cannot be understated, but the Bianconeri have been proactive in signing replacements.
Attacking pair Mario Mandzukic and Paulo Dybala certainly have goals in them but need time to adapt, while Sami Khedira has been added but has immediately got injured.
Roma have been progressive in their recruitment and fielded five new players in their starting XI at the weekend, including a new forward line of Iago Falque, Edin Dzeko and Mohamed Salah.
Clever loan deals for Wojciech Szczesny and Lucas Digne also see the capital city side stronger.
While Lazio and Napoli’s business has been relatively underwhelming, the Milan clubs have made some waves in the market.
Inter look like a completely different proposition, despite losing Kovacic and Hernanes, with a host of new faces.
Stevan Jovetic, Miranda, Geoffrey Kondogbia and Ivan Perisic are just some of the international quality additions for the Nerazzurri.
Milan have bolstered their rudderless attack from last season with the captures of Carlos Bacca, Luiz Adriano and a loan deal for Mario Balotelli, while promising Italian defensive pair Alessio Romagnoli and Andrea Bertolacci have been landed from Roma.
Bologna’s business deserves to be highlighted after the arrivals of Mattia Destro and Emmanuele Giaccherini, while Genoa have signed Goran Pandev.
Winners – Inter Milan, Roma
Losers – Lazio, Napoli
Bayern Munich are the unmitigated dominant force of German football, with Pep Guardiola hand-selecting a number of exciting new arrivals this summer.
Arturo Vidal’s arrival from Juventus adds drive and purpose, while Brazilian attacker Douglas Costa looks like an ideal long-term replacement for Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben, making an immediate impact.
The two-year loan deal for Juventus’ Kingsley Coman is an intriguing one, with the young Frenchman having the potential to be a star.
Wolfsburg cashed in on De Bruyne and Perisic, with last season’s runners-up landing Julian Draxler from Schalke and Dante from Bayern late in the window.
Leverkusen sold Son to Tottenham, but have reason for optimism after the arrivals of promising defender Jonathan Tah, Javier Hernandez and the unfortunately injured Charles Aranguiz.
Borussia Monchengladbach’s slow start to the season reflects their modest recruitment drive, while Schalke failed in a bid to land a Draxler alternative.
Hoffenheim have replaced Firmino with Chilean Eduardo Vargas, while Stuttgart have reinforced with Australian pair Mitch Langerak and Robbie Kruse.
Winners: Bayern, Dortmund
Losers: Schalke, Borussia Monchengladbach
Paris Saint-Germain’s financial superiority over the rest of Ligue 1 has been painstakingly apparent again this summer, with the reigning champions splashing the cash once more.
Angel Di Maria has joined in a sizeable deal from Manchester United, while the full-back positions have been bolstered by the permanent acquisition of Serge Aurier and landing of Lavyin Kurzawa from Monaco. Benjamin Stambouli also moved to the Parc des Princes from Tottenham.
Lyon’s major plus point has been keeping their illustrious generation of youth graduates, including Nabil Fekir and Alexandre Lacazette, at the club, but upon their return to the Champions League the Stade de Gerland outfit have also reinforced well.
Defenders Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Rafael have been added from Roma and United respectively, while the insertion of old head Mathieu Valbuena in a young team is shrewd business.
Monaco have sold some key players over the off-season and replaced them from the loan market, with Fabio Coentrao, Stephan El Shaarawy and Mario Pasilic turning up at the Stade Louis II.
Lille’s business has been relatively underwhelming, which is concerning given the likes of Simon Kjaer, Idrissa Gueye and Nolan Roux have all departed.
Marseille have also parted company with their best players such as Dimtri Payet, Gianelli Imbula, Andre Ayew, Andre-Pierre Gignac and Florian Thauvin; with Marcelo Bielsa walking out it could be a tough campaign at the Stade Velodrome.
The south coast club have added a couple of interesting, if not as gifted, replacements including Remy Cabella, Lassana Diarra, Abou Diaby and Lucas Silva.
Winners – PSG, Lyon
Losers – Everyone else