Movers and shakers: Biggest moves of 2023 summer transfer window

As the summer transfer window continues to heat up, ABIODUN ADEWALE takes a look at the biggest names that have made the most interesting moves so far in this summer break

Jude Bellingham (Dortmund to Real Madrid) – £105m

The race to get the signature of Jude Bellingham began even before the end of last season between Liverpool, Manchester City and Real Madrid.  Madrid eventually captured the England international in June on a six-year contract. He was handed the jersey No. 5 which was previously worn by French legend and former Madrid coach, Zinedine Zidane.  Bellingham’s youth club, Birmingham City received around £6 million from the transfer due to their sell-on clause.

Declan Rice – (West Ham to Arsenal, £105m)

Arsenal smashed their transfer record to complete the signing of midfielder Declan Rice from West Ham.  Rice signing is considered a major piece of the jigsaw for the Gunners ahead of next season when they will return to the Champions League and also aim for the EPL again.  The 24-year-old may also become the most expensive British player in Premier League history, eclipsing the £100m Manchester City paid to sign Jack Grealish from Aston Villa two years ago.

Lionel Messi (PSG to Inter Miami)

Seven-time Ballon d’Or winner and 2022 World Cup winner, Lionel Messi, scored his first goal for Inter Miami with a free kick in their 2-1 win over Cruz Azul. Before Messi’s debut, they had gone 11 games without a win.

David Beckham also revealed that Messi’s unveiling has become the most watched in football history with a staggering 3.5 billion views, ahead of the 3 billion views generated by Cristiano Ronaldo’s unveiling at Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr. Messi joined Inter Miami from PSG and since then, interest in both the league and the new club have gone up significantly. MLS ticket prices have skyrocketed in comparison to a minimum of more than $300 and Inter Miami’s followers on Instagram have gone up six-fold, from one to six million followers.

Karim Benzema (Real Madrid to Al Ittihad)

Even at 35, Karim Benzema is one of the biggest players to join the Saudi league this summer after joining Al Ittihad in a deal worth £214m a year.

Benzema made the switch after 14 years at Real Madrid where he crowned his long list of silverware for the club with the Balloon d’Or last year.

Kai Havertz – (Chelsea to Man United, £65m)

Even if Chelsea were offloading, Arsenal paid £65m to sign Kai Havertz on an unspecified long-term contract as the Blues also recouped a substantial amount from the £75m they paid Bayern Leverkusen for his services in 2020.  Havertz is expected to form a major part of Mikel Arteta’s attack while the Gunners have also added new names to their defense and midfield.

 Mason Mount (Chelsea to Man United, £55m)

Another major offload from Stamford Bridge but still with a heavy price as Eric Ten Hag ensured the Englishman joins his squad rebuild on a five-year deal.

The overall fee for England international midfielder Mount could rise to £60m depending on success and appearances over several seasons.

Dominik Szobozlai – (Leipzig to Liverpool, £60m)

Dominik Szoboslai, another reinforcement for Liverpool’s midfield arrived from RB Leipzig in a £60m deal for five years.

The 22-year-old Hungary international arrived Anfield after an excellent season in which he scored six goals and made eight assists in the Bundesliga.

Christopher Nkunku (Leipzig to Chelsea, £52)

Plotted since January, Christopher Nknunku is officially a Chelsea player and is already up and running in the pre-season.

The Blues paid the France international’s £52m release clause to RB Leipzig where the striker contributed 16 goals and six assists in 25 league games last season.

Alexis Mac Allister (Brighton to Liverpool, £35m)

2022 World Cup winner and revelation, Alexis Mac Allister became Liverpool’s first part of their summer midfield rebuild for just £35m but apparently with big roles to play as the club intends to reclaim a Champions League spot next season.  The 24-year-old Argentina World Cup winner signed a five-year contract.

Mateo Kovacic – (Chelsea to Man City,£25m)

One of the least expected moves but Manchester City signed Croatia midfielder Mateo Kovacic from Chelsea for an initial £25m.

The deal for the 29-year-old is also worth a possible £5m in add-ons and signed a four-year contract. Kovacic became City’s first signing of the summer after they won the treble of Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup titles last season. He’s been touted to replace Ilkay Gundogan who joined Barcelona.

Ilkay Gundogan (Man City to Barcelona, Free)

After winning everything with Manchester City, Ilkay Gundogan joined Barcelona on a free transfer but the Catalans on their recent characteristics have injected a €400m release clause into the 32-year-old’s contract.

Gundogan joins Barca, who won their first league title since 2019 this past season, to add depth and goals to midfield after they missed out on Lionel Messi, who has opted to join Inter Miami.

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