Six European bargain summer transfers

Daniel Storey

We have talked enough about the Premier League premium this summer, but what about the flipside? Here are six players who European clubs have picked up for a bargain fee…


Leonardo Bonucci

Going from: Juventus

Going to: Milan

Price: £35.2m

Why is it a bargain?
It was the steal of the summer. In a world of football club tribalism, selling a key player is usually given a positive spin by supporters of the selling club keen to avoid introspection. Yet when Bonucci was sold to Milan, even the Juventini were bemused. He is arguably Juventus, Italy and Europe’s best defender, and he has been allowed to join a club keen to re-establish themselves in Serie A’s elite. Why on earth would Juventus give Milan such a helping hand?

Looks silly next to: Ben Gibson (reported price tag of £30m)


Youri Tielemans

Going from: Anderlecht

Going to: Monaco

Price: £21.6m

Why is it a bargain?
For so long, the general rule of scouting thumb was to see who FC Porto were scouting and follow their lead. Now Monaco may have taken over that honour. Leonardo Jardim’s team may be quickly being picked off following their season of extraordinary overachievement, but do not shed tears for Monaco; this is how they intend to work. Tiemoue Bakayoko cost £6m and was sold for £40m, and now Monaco have bought Tielemans for £21.6m and will look to at least double their money. At 20, Tielemans is potentially the next big thing in central midfielding.

Looks silly next to: Ross Barkley (Asking price somewhere between £30m and £50m with 12 months left on contract)


Hector Moreno

Going from: PSV Eindhoven

Going to: Roma

Price: £5.3m

Why is it a bargain?
Roma’s best signing of the summer might be sporting director Monchi from Sevilla, and the Spaniard has already started doing his thing in Rome. There was reported interest from Newcastle and Everton in Mexico international Moreno, who can play both in central defence and at left-back, and even at 29 is more than worth his four-year contract. Way to get that Monchi off your back.

Looks silly next to: Kieran Gibbs (Arsenal reportedly holding out for £15m)



Going from: Galatasaray

Going to: RB Leipzig

Price: £11m

Why is it a bargain?
For all the corporate shilling inevitably associated with Leipzig’s Red Bull ownership, there is no doubting their commitment to scouting, buying and developing the best young talent in Europe. A year ago they signed Naby Keita for £12m, and this summer Bruma is the new kid on the block. Galatasaray coach Igor Tudor criticised the 22-year-old discipline last season, but if Leipzig can nurture an exciting winger then the Red Bull project will have its most exciting wide forward since Sadio Mane left Red Bull Salzburg for Southampton.

Looks silly next to: OK, I still can’t stop thinking about Jordon Ibe for £15m


Diego Llorente

Going from: Real Madrid

Going to: Real Sociedad

Price: £6.2m

Why is it a bargain?
Real Madrid may have done brilliantly when selling their fringe players to the Premier League this summer, getting over £85m for Danilo and Alvaro Morata, but they found their La Liga peers far less generous with their money. Diego Llorente has already earned a senior cap for Spain, and the 23-year-old has moved to Real Sociedad for a paltry £6.2m. Everton were reportedly interested in Llorente after a glowing scouting report from Steve Walsh, but instead opted for Premier League proven Michael Keane.

Looks silly next to: Michael Keane (moved to Everton for £25m). Four times the price for a fellow senior international?


Jorge Meré

Going from: Sporting Gijon

Going to: FC Koln

Price: £7.6m

Why is it a bargain?
I’m only too happy to admit that I am not in any way familiar with Mere’s work, but one man who is is Spanish football expert David Cartlidge. He described Gijon’s sale of 20-year-old central Mere for fee of £7.6m as ‘f*cking pathetic’.

Looks silly next to: I’m trying and failing not to mention Ben Gibson again. At four times the price.

Daniel Storey