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Chelsea out to maul Black Cats

Chelsea 14 hours ago
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Aug 13, 2012

Top Ten European transfers

While there have been plenty of deals in the English Premier League, the rest of Europe has also been busy this summer strengthening their squads.

Here ESPNsoccernet picks out some of the top European transfers so far this summer.

Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic - AC Milan to PSG - €63 million

The story of this summer's transfer window has undoubtedly been PSG and, after announcing the capture of Napoli forward Ezequiel Lavezzi for €26 million earlier this summer, the combined outlay on Milan's ''two best players'' shook the very foundations of European football.

When the rumours first began about the deal, sceptics pointed to the fact that PSG had already failed with a huge bid for Thiago Silva and that Ibrahimovic was unlikely to want to play in the French league. However, they were proved wrong when €42 million was agreed for Brazilian centre-back Silva and €21 million for his Swedish team-mate. To build on the signings already made in Paris over the last year, the trio (alongside €11 million striker Marco Verratti from Pescara) will surely push them to the title and there could well be more on the way as the PSG project gets more attention.

Marco Reus - Borussia Monchengladbach to Dortmund - €17.5 million

A 'bargain' is how Borussia Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp described Reus' return to his hometown club after the Bundesliga champions paid his release clause. Having broken into the Gladbach side as a 19-year-old, the attacking midfielder impressed and improved season after season before choosing to move on. With bags of speed, ambition and talent, Reus is sure to be a hit at Westfalenstadion stadium and will slot easily into the side to replace Manchester United's new-boy Shinji Kagawa. Meanwhile, the club will be delighted that Reus will be playing alongside Mario Gotze after he chose to sign a new deal.

Jordi Alba - Valencia to Barcelona - €14 million

Barcelona must have breathed a collective sigh of relief that the €14 million deal for Valencia's left-back was tied up before his starring role in Spain's victory at Euro 2012. Showing an attacking impulse that was born out of his time at Barca's La Masia academy as a youngster, Alba received high praise for his performances and will fit perfectly into the Catalans' setup. While Eric Abidal recovers from a liver transplant and Adriano's future is unclear, Alba has a clear path to a first choice place and may not let it go for some time. Another player with 'Barca DNA' added and at a knock-down price as well due to his expiring contract at Los Che.

Xherdan Shaqiri - FC Basel to Bayern Munich - €11.6 million

While Bayern sought to add to their strikeforce with the captures of Mario Mandzukic and Claudio Pizarro, the most notable signing for the side as they seek to climb back to the top of German football is the Swiss international midfielder. Agreed before the summer, Shaqiri is one of the most highly-rated young players in Europe and his creative nous in the middle, or wide on the left, will give Bayern an extra dimension in attack. Having been tipped to move to a higher level for some time, Shaqiri will have a tough fight on his hands to seal a regular place in the side, but is more than capable of proving himself.

Matteo Destro - Genoa to Roma - €11.5 million

Both Milan clubs and Juventus showed an interest in the Italy Under-21 striker, but he chose to continue his career in Rome after netting 12 goals in Serie A last term for Genoa. As a former youth team player of Inter (he was sold as part of the deal to net Andrea Ranocchia), complicated issues surrounding his co-ownership by Siena and Genoa were solved even though Genoa president Enrico Preziosi said: "In my 22 years in football, the Destro affair is the silliest thing that has ever happened to me." One season in the spotlight has created a lot of hype over this youngster, who will need to prove he can cement his place in the side.

Salomon Rondon - Malaga to Rubin Kazan - €€10 million

The financial farce at Malaga forced the La Liga side into selling their main assets, of which Rondon was one. The Venezuelan striker scored 11 goals in 29 starts last season and ensured that a host of clubs were trailing his progress regardless of the firesale. Strong and quick, the 22-year-old has yet to reach his full potential and could be a bargain for the Russians if he can settle in a notoriously difficult league. Tottenham may rue the fact that he did not choose to continue his career at White Hart Lane.

Marvin Martin - Sochaux to Lille - €10 million

Having been linked with Arsenal and Manchester United it seems an odd choice to stay in France, but Martin is keen to establish himself in the national team after failing to impress in his 22 minutes on the pitch at Euro 2012 and perhaps he is best placed to do so. Always keen to test himself at a higher level than Sochaux, the attacking midfielder should provide an excellent replacement for Chelsea new-boy Edin Hazard (alongside Solomon Kalou) at Lille and will be a key player as the 2011 champions look to compete with PSG for the title this season.

Sergio Canales - Real Madrid to Valencia - €7 million

It seems a long time ago since Canales was being talked about as one of the greatest talent to have emerged from Spain. The Racing Santander prodigy enjoyed only a brief period in the spotlight before his transfer to Real Madrid in February 2010 essentially stalled his career. A combination of injury and too much competition for places in the Madrid midfield have seen Valencia pick up a bargain this summer after making his loan move permanent and Los Che have also capitalised on another Madrid-misfit, defensive midfielder Fernando Gago, whom they landed for a reported fee of around €4.5 million.

Luc Castaignos - Inter Milan to Twente - €6 million

Another example that a young player should perhaps learn from, Castaignos rose quickly to prominence at Feyenoord in a two-year spell from 2009 and chose to move to Italy to continue his career with Inter Milan. However, despite all the hype, he scored one goal in just seven appearances before deciding that he was better off in the Dutch league after all. Twente snapped him up to replace striker Luuk De Jong, who moved to Borussia Monchengladbach for €12 million, and gave themselves a good chance of improving upon last season's sixth place finish. Certainly boss Steve McClaren knows a thing or two about returns.

Rangers to The Rangers FC

The plight of former Scottish champions Rangers has seen them liquidated, reformed, demoted to Division Three and then forced to sell off most of their squad to anyone who is willing to put in a bid. The tale of woe at Ibrox is a long one, but on the transfer front it has seen the following leave on a free: Steven Whittaker to Norwich City, Jamie Ness to Stoke City, Steven Naismith to Everton, Kyle Lafferty to FC Sion, John Fleck to Coventry, Rhys McCabe to Sheffield Wednesday; and an undisclosed (fairly nominal) fee for: Steven Davis to Southampton and Juan Manuel Ortiz to Granada. Two arrivals chose to help the club back into the big time, former Hearts midfielder Ian Black and Northern Ireland striker Andy Little, but quite why they would place themselves into the lion's mouth is another question.

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