The January transfer window has slammed shut for another year. Though a quieter window than usual, there was still plenty of business conducted around Europe.
Here are eight transfers you might have missed from Europe’s major leagues.
Santos to Benfica
Benfica have swooped to sign one of Brazil’s emerging generation of centre-forwards, agreeing a deal to sign Marcos Leonardo from Santos for a fee of €18m.
The 20-year-old, who won the Silver Boot at the FIFA U-20 World Cup last year, had scored 54 goals in 168 games since breaking into the Santos side as a teenager and boasts a prolific record with Brazil at youth level, netting 15 times in 13 caps for the u-20 side.
🇧🇷✨ What a start to life Marcos Leonardo (20) has had in Europe! 3 goals in 4 games since signing for Benfica from Santos. 📈
Keep an eye on him, talented forward. pic.twitter.com/pPcnsDTxKF
— EuroFoot (@eurofootcom) January 29, 2024
Benfica have seen Darwin Nunez and Goncalo Ramos depart in recent windows for large fees and will hope Leonardo is the next name to make a big impression in Lisbon. The winter window signing has made an immediate impression, coming off the bench to score in each of his first three Primeira Liga appearances.
Galatasaray to Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich’s search for a right-back saw approaches made for Newcastle’s Kieran Trippier and PSG’s Nordi Mukiele in January before the German giants turned their attention to Sacha Boey.
Boey has caught the eye during three seasons at Galatasaray, with whom he won the Turkish Süper Lig title last season. The 23-year-old’s performances in this season’s Champions League led to speculation over Premier League interest, while the defender has been backed for a maiden France call-up.
A bigger stage at Bayern, who spent €30m to sign him in January, could provide Boey the boost needed to gatecrash the France squad for Euro 2024.
Royal Antwerp to Atletico Madrid
Atletico Madrid have snapped up one of Europe’s most promising talents, securing the signing of Arthur Vermeeren from Royal Antwerp. The 18-year-old was named Belgium’s Young Player of the Year after helping Antwerp to a Belgian Pro League and Cup double in 2022/23, and impressed during the Champions League’s group stage this season.
Handed a full debut for Belgium in October, Vermeeren has signed a six-and-a-half-year contract with the Spanish side. The fee involved could reach €23m including add-ons.
Arthur Vermeeren makes his @atletienglish debut ✅
Welcome to LALIGA, young man. pic.twitter.com/tQrBuIBqLq
— LALIGA English (@LaLigaEN) January 31, 2024
Napoli to RB Leipzig
Eljif Elmas swapped Italian football for the Bundesliga in January, joining RB Leipzig in a €23m deal.
The versatile midfielder will hope to earn more minutes after a frustrating spell at Napoli, where despite effective end product the 24-year-old often found himself in a bit-part role. Capable of operating in several positions, Leipzig will hope Elmas can inject creativity into their side following the recent exits of Christopher Nkunku, Dominik Szoboszlai and Emil Forsberg.
Gent to Lyon
Gift Orban was backed to make a move to the Premier League in the summer, having scored prolifically since signing for Gent from Norwegian second-tier side Stabæk.
Orban scored 20 goals in 22 games for Gent last season after his January arrival, and while that return has slowed this time around, he’s done enough for Lyon to take a chance. The French side are battling against relegation after a disastrous Ligue 1 campaign, with Orban brought in to partner Alexandre Lacazette in attack.
The 21-year-old has 51 goals in 77 career appearances in all competitions since arriving in European football.
Granada to Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich have a storied history of exciting wide talents and will hope Bryan Zaragoza is the next to shine in the club’s colours. The Bundesliga champions had agreed a deal to sign the 22-year-old for a fee of €15m in the summer, though have moved the transfer forward after an injury to Kingsley Coman.
Zaragoza has scored six times in 18 starts in La Liga this season and in October became the first Granada player to be capped for Spain in 49 years.
— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) February 1, 2024
Southampton to Juventus
Carlos Alcaraz made an immediate impression at Southampton last season, with the 21-year-old a rare positive in a season that ended in Premier League relegation. The Saints kept hold of the midfielder during the summer window but Alcaraz has since fallen out of favour under head coach Russel Martin.
Juventus have signed the Argentine on an initial loan deal until the end of the season, which includes a sizeable option to make the move permanent for a fee of around £40million.
Real Betis to Bayer Leverkusen
Bayer Leverkusen sought to sign a striker in January after the news that Victor Boniface would undergo surgery on a groin issue. The Nigerian has been a driving force in Leverkusen’s title challenge, with the Germans unbeaten in the Bundesliga this season.
Xabi Alonso returned to his native Spain to sign Borja Iglesias on loan from Real Betis. The 31-year-old, twice capped for Spain, has scored 36 goals across the last three full La Liga seasons and will offer an experienced outlet for Leverkusen.