7 intriguing transfers that have gone under the radar this summer
Ferland Mendy (Lyon to Real Madrid, £47m)
After a fallow period by their standards, Real Madrid have spent close to £300 million on new players this summer, as Zinedine Zidane tries to assemble a squad capable of reclaiming the Champions League and La Liga.
France international Mendy joins Los Blancos after an impressive season with Lyon in Ligue 1, where he scored twice goals and set up one more from left-back. He can also fill in at right-back and on the left side of midfield when needed.
The 24-year-old has received high praise from legendary France World Cup winner and former Madrid man Christian Karembeu, who has said Mendy “could become the next Roberto Carlos”. For now, he's a good alternative to the 31-year-old Marcelo, who has been largely unchallenged at the Bernabeu for too long.
Kostas Manolas (Roma to Napoli, £32.4m)
Napoli acted decisively to trigger Manolas's €36m release clause at Roma, and now have another of Serie A's best centre-backs to partner Kalidou Koulibaly. Midfielder Amadou Diawara has moved in the opposite direction as part of a deal which the Partenopei look to have got the better of.
Manolas had been a long-mooted transfer target for Manchester United and Arsenal, but both clubs chose to divert attention elsewhere rather than aiming to land the 40-cap Greece international. Napoli's gain.
Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen to Borussia Dortmund, £22.1m)
Dortmund made a statement of intent by swooping for Brandt shortly after the German transfer window opened at the end of May - on the same day they also announced the signing of Thorgan Hazard. Combined, they landed two of the Bundesliga's finest attacking midfielders for just €50m.
Peter Bosz deployed Brandt centrally last season for Bayer Leverkusen, but the 23-year-old is also suited to either wing. He netted seven times and notched another 11 assists in 33 games as Leverkusen returned to the Champions League in 2018/19.
For the money, Brandt is a bargain. He is still a regular in Joachim Low's Germany squads, if not a regular starter: Brandt came on as a substitute in three of Die Mannschaft's group games at their ill-fated World Cup, and featuring twice off the bench in a disappointing Nations League campaign where they were relegated to League B after no wins in four games.
Theo Hernandez (Real Madrid to Milan, £18m)
Theo has joined older brother Lucas in seeking new pastures this summer, swapping Madrid for Milan. Although he was part of the Blancos squad that won the Champions League in 2017/18, Theo spent last season on loan at Real Sociedad, where he made 24 appearances in La Liga and the Copa del Rey.
He has also earned plaudits from Milan director and legend Paolo Maldini, who convinced him to sign in Ibiza and has backed him to become one of the best left-backs in world football. And how could the 21-year-old say no to that?
Quincy Promes (Sevilla to Ajax, £15.5m)
The Holland international has left Spain after only one season at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, as Ajax boss Erik ten Hag looks to rebuild his squad following a fine 2017/18. Key players Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong have left this summer, and more – most notably, Hakim Ziyech – are expected to follow.
It is a homecoming of sorts for the 27-year-old Promes, who was part of Ajax's youth academy before being released in 2008 as a 16-year-old. Twente picked him up the following year, and the winger has since spent time at Go Ahead Eagles, CSKA Moscow and Sevilla.
Promes scored the extra-time winner against England in this summer's Nations League semi-finals, but was unable to go all the way with his country who narrowly lost the final to Portugal 1-0.
Lloyd Kelly (Bristol City to Bournemouth, £14m)
Bournemouth have snapped up some young gems from the Championship over recent seasons (see David Brooks and Chris Mepham most recently), and Bristol City academy graduate Kelly joins that list after impressing at left-back for the Robins last season.
Liverpool were linked with the England Under-21 international, but the Cherries and Eddie Howe have gained a reputation for giving youngsters a chance to impress at the Vitality Stadium. As a result, they landed the composed 20-year old just two days after the domestic transfer window opened.
Jonjoe Kenny (Everton to Schalke, loan)
Former Huddersfield Town boss David Wagner has brought the 20-year-old to Gelsenkirchen on a season-long loan deal, with Seamus Coleman Everton's clear first-choice right-back for 2019/20.
Schalke will be hoping the Liverpool-born right-back helps improve them after a shoddy 2018/19 in which they finished 14th, just five points clear of the relegation play-off spot.
Kenny, fresh from his corking goal for England's U21s against Croatia this summer, admitted that he "couldn't believe such a big club with so much history" made an approach for him. Bless.
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