The January transfer window’s biggest moves: Chelsea make three of top 10 signings

Chelsea have made three of the biggest signings of the January transfer window but Liverpool’s surprise deal to sign Cody Gakpo remains the costliest.

Here are the top transfers involving European clubs…

1) Cody Gakpo: PSV to Liverpool – £37.2m
Liverpool didn’t wait for the window to open before wrapping up a deal to sign Gakpo, apparently from under the noses of Manchester United, though the Red Devils’ subsequent pursuit of veteran loanee centre-forwards suggests they were never really serious about the Netherlands international. Gakpo is getting his feet under the table after making his debut against Wolves in the FA Cup but Liverpool fans need to hope the club haven’t blown the winter budget on another forward when they so obviously need a midfielder.

2) Benoit Badiashile: Monaco to Chelsea – £33m
It’s a notable fee, but the thing that jumps out about this deal is the length of contract. Badiashile committed to seven-and-a-half years at Stamford Bridge, which takes him to 2030, the longest deal in Chelsea history. With Armando Broja penning six-year terms recently, it seems Todd Boehly is implementing new policy, which protects their assets but also allows them to spread amortisation more thinly to keep the FFP police happy.

3) Andrey Santos: Vasco Da Gama to Chelsea – £18m
The third of Chelsea’s January signings is probably one for the future. Santos, an 18-year-old box-to-box midfielder, helped Vasco earn promotion from the Brazilian second division last season with eight goals in 33 appearances. He has also represented Brazil at Under-20 level.

4) Gerson: Marseille to Flamengo – £17.6m
Gerson made the return journey to Flamengo after leaving there for Marseille in 2021. He played 48 games for OM last season but has featured less frequently this term, prompting a deal that could see the French side get their money back if Flamengo become liable for most of the add-ons.

5) Max Wober: RB Salzburg to Leeds – £11m
It’s a well-trodden path between Salzburg and Leeds. Wober is the third player to make the move, following Rasmus Kristensen and Brenden Aaronson in reuniting with ex-Salzburg boss Jesse Marsch. For how long Marsch sticks around, though, seems far from certain.

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6) David Datro Fofana Molde to Chelsea – £10.6m
Molde were happy to accept Chelsea’s money for the 20-year-old forward who scored 24 goals and registered 10 assists in 65 games for the Norwegians. But his first club, Abidjan City, wanted FIFA to intervene amid a row involving themselves, Molde, the player’s mother and an apparently unsigned consent form. FIFA weren’t interested, so Fofana signed with Chelsea until 2156 with the option of another decade.

7) Mislav Orsic: Dinamo Zagreb to Southampton – £8m
The Croatia forward went from the World Cup to Southampton, presumably via a quick stop in Zagreb to clear his locker. Orsic scored a beauty in the third-place play-off win over Morocco before penning a two-and-a-half-year deal with Saints. At this rate, maybe only the half will be spent in the Premier League.

8) Geronimo Rulli: Villarreal to Ajax – £7m
Presumably still wearing his World Cup winners’ medal, Argentina goalkeeper Rulli made the move to Ajax in the first week of the transfer window. The Amsterdamers could be liable for almost £10million if all add-ons become due for the 30-year-old, but reports suggest he was not their first choice. Apparently, Ajax wanted Andriy Lunin but the Ukrainian did not want to leave Real Madrid.

9) Ismael Kone: Montreal to Watford – £7.1m
Barely had Kone finished his World Cup duties with Canada had he signed for Watford at the start of December. The midfielder penned a four-and-a-half-year deal with the Hornets and made his debut in the FA Cup third-round defeat to Reading.

10) Cesar Montes: Monterrey to Espanyol – £7m
Montes made his Espanyol debut last week, playing 120 minutes in Copa Del Rey. The defender was one of Mexico’s best performers at the World Cup before moving to Catalonia from his boyhood club on a contract until 2028.

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