Serie A clubs are often known for their prudence in the transfer market and with the clubs taking a massive financial hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they were likely to be even more careful with their purse strings in the recently-concluded transfer window.
The Serie A teams again showed restrain with their money and did some prudent deals over the course of the summer. But they also splashed out cash and made some surprising signings as well.
Overall, a lot of money was still spent and some of these deals will cost more in the coming years due to the Serie A clubs’ penchant for loan deals with options to buy.
On that note, here are the five biggest signings Serie A clubs made over the course of the summer transfer window.
#5 Achraf Hakimi – Real Madrid to Inter Milan (€40m)
Achraf Hakimi enhanced his reputation during his loan spell at Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid were ready to cash in on him. Inter Milan boss Antonio Conte wanted a top full-back to play his three-man defensive system and Hakimi was identified as his top target.
Inter held talks with Real Madrid and managed to thrash out an agreement to sign Hakimi for a deal worth €40m. He is one of the best attacking full-backs in world football and Inter believe that he perfectly suits Conte’s system.
Dortmund were also interested in keeping him but Inter were ready to fork out the money needed to get the deal over the line.
#4 Alvaro Morata – Atletico Madrid to Juventus (loan plus €45m option to buy)
Clubs keep spending big money on Alvaro Morata despite his paltry return in front of goal and Serie A champions Juventus have again signed him this summer from Atletico Madrid this summer for a considerable amount of money.
Atletico Madrid have received a €10m loan fee and Juventus have an option to make the move permanent for a deal worth €45m. The Italian champions can also extend the loan for one more year for a payment of another €10m.
Morata spent two years at Juventus between 2014 and 2016 before spending time at Real Madrid, Chelsea and Atletico Madrid and he is now back in Turin for another spell.
#3 Federico Chiesa – Fiorentina to Juventus (loan plus €50m option to buy)
Federico Chiesa’s move to Juventus towards the end of the transfer window broke the hearts of Fiorentina fans. Apart from the deep rivalry that exists between the two Serie A clubs, Fiorentina assured their supports that the winger would not be sold in the last window.
But Juventus were keen to take the winger to Turin and finally, a deal was brokered in final week of the transfer window for Chiesa to move on loan with the Italian champions having an option to buy.
Fiorentina have received a €10m loan fee and if the option is trigged, the final value could reach the €60m mark.
#2 Victor Osimhen – Lille to Napoli (€70m plus add-ons)
Napoli splashed out the case to sign the forward from Lille in the summer. Victor Osimhen moved to the Serie A giants for a reported fee of €70m and became the club’s record signing.
The negotiations dragged on for weeks and for a brief period it seemed that the forward could even move to England. But Napoli got the deal over the line for a big fee and got their man, thereby making the Nigerian the most expensive African transfer to date.
It could be argued that paying such a sum hampered Napoli’s chances of strengthening other areas of their squad as they did miss out on Gabriel, who joined Arsenal. But Osimhen was their top target and they splashed out the cash for him.
#1 Arthur – Barcelona to Juventus (€72m)
One of the early but surprising deals of the summer was Juventus’ decision to sign Arthur from Barcelona for a deal worth €72m. Miralem Pjanic moved to the Catalan giants as part of the agreement.
On paper, it looks like a curious deal but once we take a look at Barcelona’s financial troubles, the agreement with the Serie A champions was a piece of accounting gymnastic on the Blaugrana’s part.
The deal made sense for both the clubs. Juventus got a talented midfielder in Arthur and managed to shift out one of their high earners in Pjanic. The Catalan giants managed to balance their books as well as get their hands on a ready-made replacement for the Brazilian for a fee slated at €60m.