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Monday, July 15, 2024

Five early transfer deals you might have missed across Europe

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Euro 2024 might be providing a sizeable distraction from the summer transfer window but that’s not to say clubs have not got down to early business.

Across Europe, there have been some notable names move clubs, including some cherry-picking from last season’s overachievers and brilliant Bosman bargains.

Here are five early transfer deals you might have missed across Europe’s top five leagues.

Aleix Garcia – Girona to Bayer Leverkusen (€18m)

Bayer Leverkusen celebrated a historic season under Xabi Alonso in 2023-24, as the Bundesliga side were crowned German champions for the first time in their history – without losing a game.

Leverkusen have wasted no time in strengthening their squad ahead of a return to the Champions League next season, agreeing deals for highly-rated Stade Rennais centre-back Jeanuël Belocian and Girona midfielder Aleix Garica. The latter formed part of the Girona team that upset the odds to finish third in La Liga and secure Champions League qualification.

Bayer Leverkusen are set to sign Girona midfielder Aleix Garcia.

The 26-year-old played an important role as Girona recorded their best league finish, ending the season third in La Liga and competing in the title race for over half of the campaign.

Leverkusen are set to pay… pic.twitter.com/yQjWgWhyku

— The Athletic | Football (@TheAthleticFC) June 13, 2024

The 27-year-old was named in La Liga’s Team of the Season and led the division for crosses, ranked second for progressive passes and passes into the final third, and seventh for chances created.

A fee of €18m looks good value for the former Manchester City youngster, who made his Spain debut in November.

Hiroki Ito – Stuttgart to Bayern Munich (€30m)

Stuttgart are another side facing a fight to keep hold of their top names, following a campaign of overachievement to finish as Bundesliga runners-up. Leading scorer Serhou Guirassy is set to sign for Borussia Dortmund, following Hiroki Ito out of the exit door.

The latter has joined Bayern Munich in a €30m deal, as the Bavarians follow a familiar plan of raiding rivals for their top talent. The Japan international is comfortable at centre-back or left-back and will add depth to Vincent Kompany’s defensive options at the Allianz Arena.

🎙️ 𝟑 𝐅𝐑𝐀𝐆𝐄𝐍 𝐀𝐍 𝐇𝐈𝐑𝐎𝐊𝐈 𝐈𝐓𝐎 🎥#ServusHiroki #MiaSanMia pic.twitter.com/onsTkQT78b

— FC Bayern München (@FCBayern) June 13, 2024

Piotr Zielinski – Napoli to Inter Milan (free)

Inter Milan have inherited the Bosman Kings crown from fierce rivals Juventus in recent windows, completing high-profile deals for Hakan Çalhanoğlu, Marcus Thuram, Andre Onana and Stefan de Vrij among others.

The Italian champions have again moved early in search of a Bosman bargain, landing Piotr Zielinski from Napoli on a free transfer. Zielinski is now 30 but has been one of Serie A’s most influential midfielders in recent seasons. In 2022-23, he led the league for chances created (84) as Napoli won the Scudetto for the first time in 33 years.

Mehdi Taremi – FC Porto to Inter Milan (free)

Another free transfer capture for the Nerazzurri, with Mehdi Taremi set to link up with Inter ahead of the new season.

The 31-year-old has been a prolific presence in Portuguese football and has twice won the Bola de Prata as the Primeira Liga’s leading scorer. The Iranian is just the fourth player to win the award with two clubs after doing so at Rio Ave and Porto.

⚫️🔵 Inter director Ausilio: “We have already almost completed two signings for next season”.

🇮🇷 Mehdi Taremi will join Inter as free agent from Porto.

🇵🇱 Piotr Zielinski will join Inter from Napoli.

Both deals are here-we-go, confirmed since February. pic.twitter.com/xQVkfEsDTU

— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) April 23, 2024

Taremi has scored 82 goals in 152 league appearances since moving to European football and will add depth to Inter’s options at centre-forward, alongside Marcus Thuram and Lautaro Martinez.

Assan Ouédraogo – Schalke to RB Leipzig (€10m)

RB Leipzig have won the race to sign Assan Ouédraogo from Schalke ahead of significant competition from Europe’s top clubs.

Ouédraogo became Schalke’s youngest-ever debutant and goalscorer during a breakthrough Bundesliga campaign in 2023-24. Leipzig have snapped up his services for just €10m to add the teenager to their roster of emerging talent.

RB Leipzig jumpstarts their transfer window with the addition of 🇩🇪 Assan Ouédraogo from S04 (18) for €10M. ✍️

One of the top young talents in Germany at the moment. 🌟

Agreed long ago, @RBLeipzig also brought in goalkeeper 🇧🇪 Maarten Vandevoordt (22), 169 appearances for… pic.twitter.com/YsR9Aqti99

— Football Wonderkids (@fbwonderkids) June 13, 2024

At international level, Ouédraogo won the UEFA European Under-17 Championship and FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2023.

Read – Free agents! 25 top players available for nothing on July 1

See more – Ranking the five most valuable footballers in the world right now

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