The candidates did not want to spend on account for this edition, due to the economic context caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
This Tuesday will begin a new edition of the Champions League, the most important club tournament in the world and the one that the powers want to win: Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Manchester City, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus. Of course, this edition has as a special seasoning un pass market off due to the crisis derived from the coronavirus pandemic. Although there was also some millionaire signings.
After two gray seasons in the continental top competition, Chelsea was the only team that broke the pig and has spared no expense. The group that directs Frank Lampard has invested big to sign names like Hakim Ziyech (Ajax, € 40 million), Ben Chilwell (Leicester, € 50 million), Kai Havertz (Bayer Leverkusen, 80 million), Timo Werner (Leipzig, 53 million) and Edouard Mendy (Rennes, 24 million).
In total, the sum of expenses amounts to € 247 million, while in sales they entered 76 million. The account comes out with a negative balance of 171 million, but in return he has found a competition in the goal for Kepa with Mendy, a striker with a goal like Werner, an attacking midfielder like Havertz, quality in Ziyech and a defensive prodigy like Chilwell, who last year he contributed 16 assists and 6 goals for Leicester.
Havertz was the most expensive transfer in the entire market and only the 72 million that Juventus paid for the Brazilian Arthur Melo, ex Barcelona, came close. The Italian team, along with almost all the other candidates, tried to enter the same money that they practically spent.
His reinforcements to start the title assault are completed with Federico Chiesa, Álvaro Morata, Rolando Mandragora and Weston McKennie. He has lost names like Miralem Pjanic, Emre Can, Douglas Costa, Gonzalo Higuaín, Blaise Matuidi or Cristian Romero.
His accounts almost add up, with a negative balance of 13 million euros and with a staff in which Cristiano Ronaldo remains an indisputable reference.
More austere, the one that has moved the least to change the squad and regain the throne of the Champions League, is Real Madrid. It has become a selling club and has barely filled the squad with the return of loan officers Álvaro Odriozola, Martin Odegaard and Andriy Lunin. He will not have James Rodríguez and Gareth Bale, who have left zero income at the club, although he has sold to many others.
Florentino Pérez has done business with Achraf Hakimi, now at Inter, for 40 million euros; for Sergio Reguilón he took 30 from Tottenham; he took 13,500,000 from Sevilla for Óscar Rodríguez; and Soro, De Frutos, Dani Gómez and Borja Mayoral left another 9 million in the coffers. In total, almost 100 million euros in revenue and no expenses, a risk bet to win the title.
The City, after many disappointments and years of investment, has lowered the figures of previous editions. For this, he has made an effort to reinforce the defense with Rúben Dias (Benfica, 68 million euros) and Nathan Aké (Bournemouth, 45).
Ferrán Torres and Pablo Moreno, Guardiola’s bets, will try to replace the losses of Leroy Sané, David Silva and Nicolás Otamendi. In total, between sales and income, it has lost 101 million euros, but maintains a staff compensated with the usual figures: Kun Agüero, Sterling, De Bruyne, Fernandinho or Gabriel Jesús.
The champion, Bayern Munich, has barely drawn the checkbook to pay for Leroy Sané (45 million), Marc Roca (9 million) and Bouna Sarr (8 million). Eric Maxim Choupo-Mating arrived free and after selling Thiago Alcantara to Liverpool for 22 million euros, last year’s winning squad, practically the same, has been completed with the loan of Douglas Costa. The Lewandowski, Pavard, Müller, Neuer or Boateng will continue pulling the car to repeat success.
Barcelona, with Lionel Messi as the main protagonist after his departure threat, will have its main reinforcement in its coach, Ronald Koeman, who will bring a change in style compared to the previous year. With the verticality that he lacked with Quique Setién, plus the reinforcements of Pjanic, Trincao, Dest, Pedri and Matheus, he will try to counter the departures of Luis Suárez (Atlético de Madrid), Ivan Rakitic (Sevilla) or Arthur Melo (Juventus).
Accustomed to changing its squad every year in the millions, Paris Saint-Germain has opted to lighten it and classic club names such as Edinson Cavani, Thomas Meunier and Thiago Silva have emerged. Eric Maxin Choupo-Moting and Alphonse Areola also left.
The other English clubs, apart from City and Chelsea, have not made excessive changes. The Premier League champion, Liverpool, has barely signed Thiago and Diogo Jota as more relevant names, while maintaining the bulk of his franchise men (Salah, Mané, Van Dijk, Alexander-Arnold and Fabinho). Like United, who hope to make a leap in quality with Donny van de Beek and Cavani.
And the other Spanish clubs, Atlético and Sevilla, have also introduced some new faces to go far in the Champions League. The rojiblanco team has opted for the Uruguayan product in the names of Suárez and Lucas Torreira and has made cash with Morata and Thomas. Julen Lopetegui’s Sevilla will feature the latest news from Rakitic, Óscar, the central Rekik or Rony Lopes, among others, along with the base formed by Jesús Navas, Ocampos or Koundé.
With information from EFE