The January transfer window closed on Monday after a period of relatively restrained transfer activity for clubs in the money-spinning English Premier League.
Here, AFP Sports lists the five biggest transfers involving English clubs to have taken place during the period (* denotes transfer fee as reported by British media):
WILFRIED BONY (CIV) – Swansea City to Manchester City; £25 million ($37.6 million, 33.2 million euros)*
Defending champions Manchester City made the biggest move in January, signing Ivory Coast international Bony from Swansea for a fee that could reportedly rise to £28 million. The 26-year-old was the leading scorer in the Premier League in 2014 with 20 goals and will provide competition for Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic. “He is very difficult to mark because he is so strong,” said City manager Manuel Pellegrini. “We now have four top-class strikers and I am looking forward to seeing them work together.” Bony’s commitments with Ivory Coast at the Africa Cup of Nations mean he is yet to pull on a sky-blue shirt.
ANDRE SCHUERRLE (GER) – Chelsea (ENG) to Wolfsburg (GER); £24 million*
Life did not work out at Chelsea for the 24-year-old German World Cup-winner, but his 17 goals in 42 international appearances helped persuade Bundesliga title challengers Wolfsburg to break their transfer record in a deal reportedly worth 32 million euros. Schuerrle arrived days after Wolfsburg’s 4-1 win over league leaders Bayern Munich, who have been given a reminder that they do not hold a monopoly in Germany on paying big fees for big-name players. “Official!” Wolfsburg proclaimed on Twitter. “World Champion Andre Schuerrle has signed for Wolfsburg.”
JUAN CUADRADO (COL) – Fiorentina (ITA) to Chelsea; £23.3 million*
Premier League title favourites Chelsea added to their attacking options by moving for Cuadrado, who signed from Fiorentina after impressing for Colombia at last year’s World Cup. Citing the influence of Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, Cuadrado said: “It is really going to be brilliant to work with one of the best coaches anywhere in the world.” The 26-year-old is an adventurous winger, who can also play at wing-back. Egyptian winger Mohamed Salah moved to Fiorentina as part of the deal.
GABRIEL (BRA) – Villarreal (ESP) to Arsenal; £11 million*
Having looked short at the back following Thomas Vermaelen’s departure for Barcelona, Arsenal bolstered their ranks with the acquisition of uncapped Brazilian centre-back Gabriel from Villarreal. The 24-year-old’s arrival gives manager Arsene Wenger back-up for first-choice central defenders Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny. But Wenger warned: “You always need time to adapt, especially in a defensive position, because you need to know your partners. At the moment he does not speak a word of English and that can cost you goals.”
ANDREJ KRAMARIC (CRO) – Rijeka (CRO) to Leicester City; £9 million*
Despite a stunning 5-3 defeat of Manchester United in September, bottom club Leicester have struggled for goals this season, scoring only 21 times in 23 outings. They moved to rectify that with a club-record £9 million move for 23-year-old Croatia striker Kramaric, who has yet to find the net in three appearances. “We’ve watched Andrej for a long time,” said Leicester manager Nigel Pearson. “He’s an extremely talented young footballer.”
– Agence France-Presse