Power Ranking Europe's Big Teams by Transfer Window Moves
The transfer window is closed around Europe's major leagues. Teams have made their final plays in terms of signing and selling players to strengthening their assaults on their respective divisions this season.
Club records were broken and so was the world record, with the £85 million capture of Gareth Bale by Real Madrid.
Here we take a look at the top 20 big clubs from the top five leagues, power-ranked by their summer activity during the transfer window.
20. Inter Milan
Inter Milan put up a pretty dismal showing last season, finishing in a lowly ninth place, and their summer transfer activity doesn't give too much indication of an impending improvement.
They didn't lose many big-name players, perhaps with the exception of veteran Dejan Stankovic, but their incoming deals hardly point toward an imminent surge back into the top three or four places in Serie A.
Mauro Icardi and Matias Silvestre are notable additions, while Diego Laxalt has yet to thoroughly convince that he has what it takes to be a success.
All in all, Inter will do well to get themselves back into the top five or six this season.
Valencia continue their summer tradition of offloading a big-name star to the Premier League for mega-money, with Roberto Soldado the man to depart this time. Tino Costa, Aly Cissokho and Fernando Gago are also absent from last year's squad.
They have to an extent brought in notable replacements, with Helder Postiga already making a goalscoring start to life at Los Che, while big things are hoped for from Dorlan Pabon.
Oriol Romeu has arrived on loan, but those deals won't be enough to push Valencia any higher than fourth in La Liga.
18. AC Milan
AC Milan made a late charge in Serie A last season to win themselves a Champions League spot, and they have largely strengthened this summer. While a host of players have left on free transfers, the only notable sale was that of Kevin-Prince Boateng.
Milan brought back Kaka from Real Madrid, brought in Alessandro Matri from Juventus and acquired Andrea
Poli from Sampdoria, so the first XI is likely to be at least slightly improved.
Depth and genuine title-challenging quality remains an issue at Milan though, and there is definitely a feeling that they needed to to do more.
Marseille have had an interesting window. They certainly seem to have improved their squad.
Dmitri Payet and Florian Thauvin bring quality, pace and invention to the final third, while Giannelli Imbula is a good signing in the centre of midfield.
Morgan Amalfitano has been loaned out and Joey Barton's loan came to an end last season, but no other major players from last season's squad have been lost. It all points to a season of growth for Marseille—but second place will nonetheless be tough to match.
Having won Serie A at a steady trot last season, Juventus was looking to upgrade, to better compete in the Champions League this season.
Adding strikers Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente will certainly go a long way toward adding important goals to the side, while defender Angelo Ogbonna was an expensive addition to an already-impressive defence.
Sales of Emanuele Giaccherini, Alessandro Matri and Manolo Gabbiadini should be fairly easily absorbed by the squad, which makes it a winning window for Juve.
The Scudetto will be within their reach once more, but did they need more to become a powerhouse in Europe again?
15. Manchester United
While much has been made of Manchester United's confusing and hectic approach to targeting new arrivals in the transfer window, one important factor shouldn't be overlooked. In signing Marouane Fellaini, they have significantly strengthened a key area of their team.
The deal arrived late, after much speculation and no shortage of panic amongst supporters, but it did arrive, to the tune of around £28 million, and it immediately gives United strength and depth in the centre of midfield.
It wasn't the only signing they might have made, but it will prove an important one.
Arsenal similarly splashed out cash only on the last day, indeed in the final minutes of the transfer window. But as with United, the sheer amount of quality and ability that Mesut Ozil brings will immediately and inarguably improve the side.
They didn't spend big money on a defensive midfielder, but they did bring in a specialist at the position in Mathieu Flamini, while only Gervinho departed from the first team scene—no great loss to the Gunners.
Again, the team has improved, but whether it has improved enough to close the gap on the teams who finished ahead of them last season is another matter.
Another of clubs who only made one signing is Barcelona.
Like United and Arsenal before them, Barça's signing will undoubtedly improve the team quite considerably, with that man being Neymar.
The Brazilian forward has already begun to make his mark, but Barcelona also needed to strengthen the centre of defence, and failed to do so. Exits for David Villa and Eric Abidal won't disrupt them much, but the loss of Thiago Alcantara was certainly a disappointment.
Chelsea focused on one thing this summer, which was to improve their final third by any means necessary.
Kevin de Bruyne returned from loan spells away and the club added Willian, Marco van Ginkel, Andre Schurrle and Samuel Eto'o to similar areas of the pitch, to contest for a place with the stars already established at the club.
While those incoming players have their qualities, it remains to be seen how many of them can benefit Chelsea significantly over the course of the season, while the defence went totally unchanged.
Loan spells for Christian Atsu, Victor Moses and Romelu Lukaku indicate the fierce competition for spots in that area of the field for the Blues.
Liverpool left it late to seal some of their deals, but the Reds have attended to most of their key areas which needed upgrading.
Simon Mignolet has made a great start as the new goalkeeper and Aly Cissokho on loan gives depth at left-back, while Mamadou Sakho should prove an excellent signing at centre-back.
Further additions were made in attacking midfield and forward areas of the pitch—plus Liverpool managed to retain Luis Suarez.
The only real downside was a failure to bring in an established defensive midfielder to add competition for Lucas, in an area which could eventually cost the team dear.
Atletico Madrid didn't even spend half the money they brought in this summer, yet look to have probably improved the squad overall.
Radamel Falcao's departure was covered by David Villa arriving, with Leo Baptistao also providing good presence in the final third. Key signings in central defence and defensive midfield will also prove wise investments.
Meanwhile maybe the most savvy piece of business was in picking up Martin Demichelis on a free from Malaga—before selling him to Manchester City less than a month later for more than £4 million.
Atleti have improved once again—but nowhere near enough, it could be argued, to break through La Liga's glass ceiling.
9. Bayern Munich
Did Bayern need to spend huge amounts after winning everything in sight last year? Probably not, but they have paid out more than £50 million for two exceptional young talents in Mario Gotze and Thiago Alcantara, to shape the squad more to Pep Guardiola's liking.
One area of concern, though, could be over the lack of a true defensive midfielder in the squad after departures of Anatoliy Tymoshchuk, Luiz Gustavo and Emre Can.
Bayern will be challengers for all trophies on account of their huge strength in depth, but just perhaps they might have made another addition or two while they were at the top.
8. AS Roma
Roma have added wisely to their squad following four big-money departures. They received money from Barcelona for Bojan, sold Pablo Osvaldo for £13 million and offloaded Marquinhos and Erik Lamela for more than £25 million each.
Kevin Strootman, Mehdi Benatia and Adem Ljajic in particular will prove excellent replacements for much lower prices, while the likes of Gervinho and Maicon could impress in Serie A with the capital club after less than impressive spells in England.
All in all, Roma should be aiming for a higher finish than last year's sixth-place.
Tottenham made seven additions to their first team at a cost of over £100 million, but have hardly dented their transfer fund after selling Gareth Bale for a world-record £85 million.
None of their other sales will be particularly worrying, but considering Bale became a stand-out for Spurs in a left-wing role, this is now the one position which doesn't quite look as strong as the rest of the team.
Erik Lamela, Christian Eriksen, Roberto Soldado and Etienne Capoue will all prove great additions, while Paulinho has the potential to dominate the Premier League entirely.
But, is this enough to break through the top four and challenge even higher? All eyes will be on Spurs this year.
PSG had no need to sell a £100 million player to spend big. They’ve done it for the past few seasons.
This summer was no different, with Edinson Cavani, Marquinhos and Lucas Digne arriving at the Ligue 1 champions for nigh on the full nine-figure total.
Mamadou Sakho and Kevin Gameiro played big squad roles last season and may be missed, but PSG will hardly think that they haven't been able to replace them.
It's another summer of huge investment and probable improvement for PSG. They will be expected to challenge hard for European glory as well as win Ligue 1 again.
5. Borussia Dortmund
Dortmund lost Mario Gotze to rivals Bayern Munich, but have replaced him well with Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang joining the club.
The other change is in Sokratis Papastathopoulos taking the place of the outbound Felipe Santana, in an upgrade in their third choice central defender.
Dortmund have gotten better in terms of quality and depth. Whether it is enough to overhaul Bayern and Guardiola, though, is another matter entirely. Last season's Bundesliga and Champions League runners-up should be a team to watch in all competitions.
4. Real Madrid
Real Madrid have always been entertaining with their transfer dealings. This summer has been no different.
After bringing in the top Spanish youngsters available—Isco, Illarra, Dani Carvajal—they reverted to type with the world record signing of Gareth Bale.
Where he will fit into the team, how happy his teammates will be and how successful he is in Spain are all issues that provide backdrops to this season.
Gonzalo Higuain, Jose Callejon and Raul Albiol were all sold to make way, but the sale of Mesut Ozil was simply staggering.
Real have trebled their rival Barcelona's spend for this summer, so will be under big pressure to run close for the league title.
3. Manchester City
Having dispensed with Roberto Mancini for failing to win a repeat title last year, Manchester City have backed new boss Manuel Pellegrini with four expensive new players.
Jesus Navas, Fernandinho, Alvaro Negredo and Stevan Jovetic will be expected to provide the quality and consistency to win back the Premier League title for City, while late arrival Demichelis provides cover in defence.
There can be no doubt that City's squad and team are improved with these signings, positioning them for better performances at home and abroad this year.
Napoli reached something of a glass ceiling of their own last season with a second place finish and winning the Copa Italia a year previous. It will take something special for them to plough through and challenge for the league title itself.
To that end, the placement of Rafa Benitez as coach and the sale of Edinson Cavani has allowed generous investment in the team, with the likes of Dries Mertens and former Real Madrid trio Callejon, Albiol and Higuain to all join up in Naples.
Again, they will be a side under pressure to perform during the season, but their preseason transfers couldn't have improved the side much more.
Coming up from Ligue 2 and with shedloads of money to spend, it's perhaps not surprising that AS Monaco have been the club to use the transfer market to their best advantage this summer.
Monaco have spent more money this summer than any other club from the top five leagues in Europe, almost £150 million, and it tells in their squad strength and depth.
James Rodriguez, Joao Moutinho, Radamel Falcao, Nicolas Isimat-Mirin, Jeremy Toulalan, Eric Abidal and Geoffrey Kondogbia all bring great quality to the side which will be expected to immediately jump to challenge Marseille and PSG at the top of Ligue 1.
Monaco will be a highly interesting side to keep tabs on this term, thanks largely to their excessive yet exciting use of the chequebook during the summer transfer window.