Juan Mata became Manchester United's most expensive signing/AFP pic.
Juan Mata became Manchester United’s most expensive signing/AFP pic.

THE January transfer window closed at 2300 GMT on Friday with English Premier League clubs having spent in excess of £125 million ($206 million, 153 million euros) on new players.

Here, AFP Sports lists the 10 biggest transfers involving English clubs to have taken place before the deadline fell (asterisk denotes fee as reported by British media):

JUAN MATA (Chelsea to Manchester United; £37.1 million)

– Having fallen out of favour at Chelsea following Jose Mourinho’s return to the club as manager last year, Mata seized the opportunity to relaunch his career at Old Trafford. The reigning English champions broke their transfer record to sign the 25-year-old Spain midfielder, who made his debut in a 2-0 win over Cardiff City on Tuesday.

NEMANJA MATIC (Benfica/POR to Chelsea; £20.75 million*)

– Three years after leaving Chelsea for Benfica, 25-year-old Serbian midfielder Matic returned to the west London club on a five-and-a-half-year contract. Matic made only three appearances during his first spell at Stamford Bridge between 2009 and 2011, but Mourinho said that he had “grown as a player in Portugal”.

YOHAN CABAYE (Newcastle United to Paris Saint-Germain/FRA; £19 million)

– Newcastle fended off interest in Cabaye from Arsenal in the previous transfer window, but when reigning French champions PSG came calling, they finally admitted defeat. The France international, 28, earned admiration in England for his technical qualities but faces a fight to break into PSG’s star-studded team.

KEVIN DE BRUYNE (Chelsea to Wolfsburg/GER; £16.5 million*)

– De Bruyne’s failure to make an impact at Chelsea this season was a source of irritation to Mourinho, who walked out of a press conference in September when asked why the 22-year-old Belgium winger was not playing. A £7 million signing from Genk in 2012, he joined Wolfsburg after impressing during a loan spell at Werder Bremen last season.

KONSTANTINOS MITROGLOU (Olympiakos/GRE to Fulham; £12.5 million*)

– Mitroglou arrives from Olympiakos with a brief to fire struggling Fulham out of the Premier League relegation zone. The 25-year-old is having the season of his life, having netted 14 times in the Greek Super League and scored the goals that gave Greece victory over Romania in their World Cup qualifying play-off.

KURT ZOUMA (Saint-Etienne/FRA to Chelsea; £12 million*)

– A hulking centre-back, 19-year-old Zouma made his Saint-Etienne debut at the age of only 16 and has already been capped by France at under-21 level. He was immediately loaned back to his formative club until the end of the season.

Mohamed Salah was brought in to replace Juan Mata/AFP pic.
Mohamed Salah was brought in to replace Juan Mata/AFP pic.

MOHAMED SALAH (FC Basel/SUI to Chelsea; £11 million*)

– Chelsea reportedly saw off interest from Liverpool to sign 21-year-old Egyptian winger Salah from Basel. Salah has scored three times against Chelsea over the past year, including in Basel’s two Champions League group-phase victories over the London club earlier this season.

SHANE LONG (West Bromwich Albion to Hull City; £7 million*)

– In a bid to bolster an attack that currently averages less than a goal a game in the Premier League, Hull parted with £6 million, rising to £7 million, for Republic of Ireland international Long. “It’s a club that’s on the up, and I’m delighted to be a part of that,” he said.

NIKICA JELAVIC (Everton to Hull City; £6.5 million*)

– Jelavic completed his move to the KC Stadium a matter of days before Long. The 28-year-old Croatia international made a stunning start to life at Everton following his move from Rangers in 2012, scoring nine goals in 13 matches, but a long goalless spell subsequently cost him his place in the team.

JERMAIN DEFOE (Tottenham Hotspur to FC Toronto/CAN; £6 million*)

– After losing his place in the Tottenham line-up to new signing Roberto Soldado, Defoe made the surprising decision to leave England for Major League Soccer outfit FC Toronto. The 31-year-old played down fears that the move might jeopardise his chances of playing for England at the World Cup, saying: “If selected, I’ll be ready.”


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