Who's won the transfer market in Italy this summer? FFT evaluates

Serie A begins this weekend – so here's your transfer downlow for the top eight from last year's standings

Juventus (Grade: A)

Prized asset Paul Pogba may have returned to Manchester United but there’s an argument that Max Allegri’s side are stronger now than they were last time out

Juventus are aiming to win a record sixth successive Serie A title this season, and it’s difficult to see them not making history after the business they’ve done this summer.

Prized asset Paul Pogba may have returned to Manchester United and Alvaro Morata to Real Madrid, but there’s an argument to be made that Max Allegri’s side are stronger now than they were last time out. 

Gonzalo Higuain, scorer of 36 goals in 35 Serie A games in 2015/16, will add firepower alongside the superb Paulo Dybala up front; Miralem Pjanic will be a constant source of creativity in midfield; free agent Dani Alves brings experience and plenty of quality at right-back; Medhi Benatia was one of the division’s best centre-halves during his time at Roma; and Marko Pjaca is a gifted youngster who gives Juve another option out wide.

The purchases of Higuain and Pjanic have also weakened Napoli and Roma – the Bianconeri’s two closest challengers last term – while Leonardo Bonucci remains at the club despite interest from Chelsea.

Napoli (Grade: C)

Milik netted 24 goals in 42 appearances in all competitions last term but whether he’s ready to immediately step into Higuain’s sizeable shoes remains to be seen

There was little Napoli could do to prevent Higuain’s exit after Juventus triggered his release clause, and have turned to Arek Milik as his replacement.

The former Ajax striker netted 24 goals in 42 appearances in all competitions last term and, at 22, has plenty of time to improve, but whether he’s ready to immediately step into Higuain’s sizeable shoes remains to be seen. 

Napoli have also bought Lorenzo Tonelli, Piotr Zielinski and Emanuele Giaccherini while keeping hold of Allan, Marek Hamsik, Lorenzo Insigne and, at the time of writing at least, Chelsea target Kalidou Koulibaly. It’s hard to avoid the loss of Higuain, though, and Napoli certainly look weaker now than at the end of last season.

Koulibaly tackles Duvan Zapata

Could retaining the services of Koulibaly be Napoli's best piece of business this summer?

Roma (Grade: B)

Much of Roma’s work in the window has come in the form of making various loan moves permanent, with Stephan El Shaarawy, Antonio Rudiger, Mohamed Salah and Umar Sadiq all penning deals this summer.

Wojciech Szczesny has returned for a second season-long loan spell from Arsenal, with Juan Jesus, Thomas Vermaelen, Federico Fazio and Mario Rui also joining on initially temporary terms with options to buy. 

Szczesny of Roma

Szczesny has returned on a season-long loan

Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson has also been added to the squad for a fee of €8 million, and talented Torino full-back Bruno Peres has joined for €13.5m.

Pjanic will be a big loss, while Lucas Digne, Seydou Keita and Maicon have also departed, but overall Roma have made some astute acquisitions – as well as holding onto Premier League-linked duo Radja Nainggolan and Kostas Manolas. They will be confident of another top-three finish.

Inter (Grade: A)

A change of manager means Frank de Boer, rather than Roberto Mancini, will be the man prowling the touchline for Inter this season.

There are some new faces among the player pool too, with Antonio Candreva, Marcelo Brozovic (who was on loan at the club last term), Caner Erkin and Cristian Ansaldi joining for a combined €29 million. Meanwhile, Ever Banega on a free transfer could be one of the bargains of the summer. 

Inter have also managed to keep hold of star striker Mauro Icardi and Euro 2016 ace Ivan Perisic, with Joao Mario and Gabriel Barbosa potentially arriving before the end of the month.

Milan (Grade: D)

The only saving grace from this window is that Carlos Bacca, Gianluigi Donnarumma and Giacomo Bonaventura remain at San Siro

Silvio Berlusconi completed the sale of Milan to a state-backed Chinese group this month, but while it’s a relief that the takeover has finally gone through, the protracted nature of it has had a negative impact on the Rossoneri’s transfer dealings. 

Milan were only good enough to finish seventh last year and yet they haven't significantly bolstered with the start of the season now just days away. Argentine midfielder Jose Sosa is their biggest deal at €7.5m, having won the Turkish Superlig with Besiktas last season. 

Gianluca Lapadula was excellent for Perugia in Serie B in 2015/16 but has no top-flight experience, while Paraguayan Gustavo Gomez and Argentine Leonel Vangioni are new to the European game.
 
Lapadula was linked with Premier League champions Leicester
 
The only saving grace is that Carlos Bacca, Gianluigi Donnarumma and Giacomo Bonaventura remain at San Siro – at least for the time being.

Fiorentina (Grade: C)

Davide Astori has signed after spending last year on loan at the Artemio Franchi, but the club’s three other permanent additions are all teenagers

Fiorentina were in contention for a Champions League spot up until the start of March last season, but a run of just two wins from their final 11 matches saw Paulo Sousa’s side end the campaign in fifth.

Although there were still plenty of positives to take from their performance, the Viola are in danger of standing still after failing to significantly strengthen the squad this summer.

Davide Astori has signed after spending last year on loan at the Artemio Franchi, but the club’s three other permanent additions are all teenagers: 18-year-old goalkeeper Bartlomiej Dragowski, 19-year-old right-back Kevin Diks and 17-year-old attacking midfielder Ianis Hagi, son of Romanian legend Gheorghe. 

Carlos Sanchez, Cristian Tello and Hernan Toledo have joined on loan, but it’s been a rather underwhelming window overall.

Lazio (Grade: C)

It’s been a mixed summer for Lazio on the recruitment front, even leaving the Marcelo Bielsa debacle to one side.

New signings Jordan Lukaku, Wallace and Moritz Leitner are young players full of potential, while Ciro Immobile has scored goals in Serie A before and could turn out to be quite the bargain at €8.5 million.

On the flip side, Antonio Candreva has left for Inter and experienced duo Stefano Mauri and Miroslav Klose have been released. Lazio are arguably no better off now than when they finished eighth in 2015/16.

How big of a miss will Candreva be?

Sassuolo (Grade: B)

Were it not for Leicester’s Premier League title triumph, Sassuolo may have won the award for Europe’s best underdog story in 2015/16.

The Neroverdi, who won promotion to the top tier for the first time ever in 2013, qualified for the Europa League by beating the likes of Milan and Lazio to a top-six spot, as well as recording famous victories over Inter, Juventus and Napoli along the way.

Sime Vrsaljko has departed for Atletico Madrid and Nicola Sansone has been acquired by Villarreal, but star man Domenico Berardi remains and will be essential to Sassuolo once again this season.

Alfred Duncan, Timo Letschert, Pol Lirola, Alessandro Matri and Matteo Politano could prove to be shrewd signings, too.

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