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Football: Here's everything you need to know about the summer transfer window

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By Euronews with AFP
Barcelona's Lionel Messi, right, and Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo during the Champions League match in Barcelona, Spain, Dec. 8, 2020.
Barcelona's Lionel Messi, right, and Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo during the Champions League match in Barcelona, Spain, Dec. 8, 2020.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Joan Monfort
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This season's flurry of deals, which saw football superstars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo move clubs, ended in spectacular fashion on Wednesday with the announcement, made an hour after the deadline, that Antoine Griezmann is returning to Atletico.

Here's what you need to know about the latest football transfers.

Premier League remains biggest spender

The English Championship inked seven of this summer's most expensive transfers with spending by its clubs topping more than €1.1 billion.

The most expensive recruit landed at Manchester City in the form of Aston Villa midfielder and new England fan favourite Jack Grealish for €117 million.

AP Photo/Rui Vieira
Manchester City's Jack Grealish during the English Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal in Manchester, England, Aug. 28, 2021.AP Photo/Rui Vieira

European champions Chelsea were not far behind, spending €115 million for Romelu Lukaku to come back to the club from Inter Milan.

But it may be Manchester United who have hit the jackpot by bringing Ronaldo back into its fold.

The Portuguese superstar is not the only one Man U snagged. The club also successfully lured Jadon Sancho from Dortmund for €85 million and Raphael Varane from Real Madrid for €40m.

Arsenal were one of the most active clubs of the transfer season, at least in terms of quantity, with the signings of Martin Odegaard for €35 million and Ben White for €58 million. The London club also recruited Japanese international Takehiro Tomiyasu from Bologna for a reported €20 million.

Liverpool have concentrated their efforts on extending several key players, including Becker, Van Dijk, Robertson, and strengthened their central defence with the signing of Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig for €36 million.

Griezmann's rocky return

Antoine Griezmann returns to Atletico Madrid following a last-minute surprise deal. His transfer was made official more than an hour after the market closed.

The French playmaker has been loaned out for a season with an obligation to buy at the end of it, to the club where he exploded and which he had left two years earlier for Barça.

AP Photo/Joan Monfort
Barcelona's Antoine Griezmann during the Spanish La Liga match between Barcelona and Getafe, in Barcelona, Spain, Aug. 29, 2021.AP Photo/Joan Monfort

The Catalan giants have also lost their star player, Leo Messi, who has left a huge void after more than 20 years at the club where he wrote the legend.

Riddled with debt, Barca have lightened their wage bill and recruited two high-profile strikers, Sergio Agüero and Memphis Depay, and young defender Eric Garcia.

Serie A loses stars

The last day of the transfer window was fairly quiet in Italy, after last Friday's thunderous departure of star Cristiano Ronaldo from Juventus.

CR7's departure was the logical outcome of a summer in which the crisis-hit Serie A was unable to afford to retain its stars. Italy has seen the departure of Romelu Lukaku, who left Inter Milan, a champion in the red financially, as well as Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan, free) and Achraf Hakimi (Inter, €60 million), who left for Paris SG.

In the absence of finances, the last day was mainly used to make a few adjustments, with a formula that is still very much in fashion in these tense times: loans with an option or obligation to buy, allowing the payment to be postponed for one or two years.

After Manuel Locatelli, Juventus used this formula again to bring back Moise Kean on loan (two seasons), with an obligation to buy to follow (€28 million).

In the last few days, Cagliari have strengthened their ranks with the signing of Keita Baldé (Monaco), Milan have taken a chance on Brazilian Messias (9 goals last season with Crotone), while Genoa have acquired Felipe Caicedo (Lazio), Nikola Maksimovic (Napoli) and Abdoulaye Toure (Nantes).

A quiet summer in the Bundesliga

As is often the case, German clubs, led by Bayern Munich, have been planning their moves for some time. The reigning champions bought French international Dayot Upamecano for €43 million, the most expensive signing of the summer, and on Monday another player from Leipzig, Marcel Sabitzer.

AP Photo/Matthias Schrader
Bayern's Dayot Upamecano during the German Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Munich and 1.FC Cologne in Munich, Germany, Aug. 22, 2021.AP Photo/Matthias Schrader

The Bavarian ogre has recorded the departures of Jerome Boateng and David Alaba.

Dortmund, their great rival, sold Jadon Sancho to Manchester United, but managed to keep hold of their Norwegian striker Erling Haaland.