With the FIFA Confederations Cup now over and the FIFA U-20 World Cup drawing to a close, attention is starting to shift to the third major saga of the summer: the transfer merry-go-round. FIFA.com takes stock of all the recent comings and goings to round up the major moves.
Kicking off in Monaco, the principality club have been busy of late, keeping up the momentum they set in early June when they swooped for Radamel Falcao, Joao Moutinho and Ricardo Carvalho. Since then, they have picked up young prospects Nicolas Isimat-Mirin (Valenciennes), Anthony Martial(Lyon), andGaetano Monachello (Olympiakos Nicosia), while also bringing Jeremy Toulalan on board from Malaga and recruiting Eric Abidalfrom Barcelona. The Mediterranean outfit are clearly bent on making a big splash in Ligue 1 next term.
As for Marseille, they have been prioritising quality over quantity, only agreeing deals for Le Havre defender Benjamin Mendy and Lille midfielder Dimitri Payet. Bordeaux have done even less business, settling for Sochaux centre-backJeremie Brechetso far, while Gael Danic has left Valenciennes for Lyon – who have also brought in Portuguese full-back Miguel Lopeson loan from Sporting Lisbon. Lille have strengthened their defence too, luring Danish international Simon Kjaer from Roma, and Montpellier have welcomed Siaka Tiene from Paris Saint-Germain. The capital club themselves have been curiously quiet this month, although that all looks set to change soon as they appear close to a deal for Napoli ace Edinson Cavani.
The Uruguayan striker may well miss the chance to play alongside Belgian international Dries Mertens and Jose Callejon, the wing pair having left PSV Eindhoven and Real Madrid respectively to move to Napoli. Carlos Tevezhas endedhis stay at Manchester City and will begin a new adventure with Juventus – wheredefenderAngelo Ogbonnawill also feature next season after crossing the city divide from derby rivals Torino. Over in Genoa, meanwhile, Sampdoria have added young Italian forward Manolo Gabbiadini to their number from Juve, although they have lost Argentinian marksman Mauro Icardi to Inter Milan. Parma's Algerian striker Ishak Belfodil has finalised terms with I Nerazzurri as well, and he heads in the opposite direction to Antonio Cassano, who will team up with Amauri and Co next term.
Also on the move is highly rated midfielder Felipe Anderson. The 20-year-old former Santos prodigy has opted for a change of surroundings at Roma, where he hopes to continue bolstering his reputation. Luca Toni is nearer to the end of his career at 36, but he has packed his bags for Hellas Verona from Fiorentina for one last challenge. Covering his departure, I Gigliati have snared Mario Gomez from Bayern Munich, the German striker tracing the same route to Italy previously taken by Toni himself.* *
Winners of the UEFA Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup last season, Bayern have yet to dip their toes into the transfer market since snapping up Mario Gotze. The youngster's old club Borussia Dortmund have been very active, on the other hand, opening their arms to Gabonese forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Armenian schemer Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Die Schwarzgelben have nonetheless said farewell to talented youngster Leonardo Bittencourt, who has signed up for service with Mirko Slomka's Hannover – from where Swiss stopper Johan Djourou, still on loan from Arsenal, has made the short journey to rivals Hamburg.
Djourou's compatriot Gelson Fernandes will be plying his trade in Germany next season as well after leaving Sion for Freiburg. Having also played for Manchester City in England, French club Saint-Etienne, Sporting in Portugal and Italian sides Chievo and Udinese, he will thus be appearing in his sixth different league. Elsewhere, Dynamo Kyiv's Brazilian midfielder Raffael– who spent last season on loan with Schalke – will wield his fearsome right foot for Borussia Monchengladbach in 2013/14, while French forward Anthony Modeste has quit Bordeaux for Hoffenheim and Italian defender Luca Caldirolahas moved from Inter to Werder Bremen. Leverkusen is the new home of Emir Spahic, meanwhile, the 32-year-old Bosnian defender having just spent six months on loan at Anzhi Makhachkala.
Spahic's former employers Sevilla have entered the market as well, taking Chelsea's German midfielder Marko Marin on loan. For their part, Villarreal have strengthened ahead of their return to the Spanish top flight by drafting in Mexico's Giovani Dos Santosand SpaniardTomas Pina, both from Mallorca, plus Red Star Belgrade's Serbian defender Aleksandar Pantic. Atletico Madrid have contented themselves with a pair of purchases so far, but they will be expecting big contributions from Malaga's Argentinian centre-back Martin Demichelisand, above all, Barcelona sharpshooter David Villa. Also in Spain, Athletic Bilbao have brought Mikel Balenziaga(Real Valladolid) and Benat Etxebarria(Real Betis) back to the club, and Real Madrid have managed to entice young Malaga maestro Isco to the Santiago Bernabeu.
Since splashing out on Neymar, Barcelona have been relatively discrete on the transfer front, though in addition to selling Villa they have also sent Gerard Deulofeuon loanto Everton. The Toffees have likewise boosted their squad with the arrival of Côte d'Ivoire striker Arouna Kone from Wigan Athletic, while city rivals Liverpool lured Belgian goalkeeper Simon Mignolet to Anfield shortly after completing the transfer of central defenderKolo Tourefrom Manchester City. Fellow Premier League challengers Swansea City have done plenty of shopping too, rounding up a trio of players in goalscorer Wilfried Bony (Vitesse Arnhem), midfielderJonjo Shelvey(Liverpool) and defender Jordi Amat (Rayo Vallecano).
Not that Sunderland have anything to be envious about. Paolo Di Canio's side have also made a triple swoop, swelling their ranks with USA striker Jozy Altidore (Alkmaar), Greek winger Charalampos Mavrias (Panathinaikos) and Italian attacking midfielder Emanuele Giaccherini (Juventus). Giaccherini gave an impressive display of his talents at the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013, and among the other players to shine at the Festival of Champions was the host nation'sPaulinho, who has put his signature to a contract with Tottenham Hotspur in the hopes of advancing his career.