15 Biggest Bundesliga Talking Points from the January Transfer Window
Ladies and gentlemen, the transfer window is now closed. It's done. Finito. Gone are the crazy days of transfer rumours swirling around the media only to hang around like a bad smell.
Yet as we return to the status quo of regular kick-off times and the daily grind of club A's crisis and player B's jump in form, it may be fun to rekindle our affection for a crazier time and just reflect upon everything that we went through.
Here are the top 15 talking points from the Bundesliga transfer window.
Toni Kroos Didn't Move to Manchester United
It may come as a surprise to some, but for a few moments there one or two folk were of the belief that Bayern Munich's Toni Kroos may have been on his way to Manchester United.
Nothing substantial came from the press, as we reported here, but the rumours were still rife and when the midfielder stormed off after an early substitution against Stuttgart last week, things didn't look all too perfect in paradise.
However, the midfielder did not move to Manchester United and Bayern kept their man.
Marco Reus Not Moving to Manchester United
Marco Reus is one of Dortmund's most important players, yet throughout the January transfer window, the forward was linked with a number of clubs, including Manchester United, in which the striker's supposed minimum fee release clause was consistently mentioned, as reported here by the Independent.
Yet such a clause only comes into effect in 2015 and through such means, clubs such as Man United were forced to consider bidding for the player on Dortmund's terms and that evidently proved too much.
Robert Lewandowski Agreeing a Deal with Bayern Munich
One big player move that was confirmed over the January transfer window was, of course, the pre-contract agreement between Dortmund's Robert Lewandowski and league rivals Bayern Munich.
Any football fan who missed such a story would have had to have been living under a rock, as Bayern continue their pursuit of total German domination through Dortmund's own downfall, one player at a time.
Julian Draxler Not Moving to Arsenal
One deal that looked destined to go through at the very last minute was that of Schalke's Julian Draxler to English Premier League side Arsenal.
The story was front-page news for much of the month as England eagerly anticipated their new German wonder-kid. Schalke later confirmed that they did indeed receive a bid from Arsenal but rejected it, as reported here by ESPN.
The Royal Blues have a very high opinion of their new star and clearly never felt tempted to cash in on the young talent.
Dortmund Actually Signed Some Cover
Dortmund have been rocked by injuries throughout this current campaign and have received some unfair slack for that, yet the pressure that coach Jurgen Klopp found himself under to sign some able replacements did in itself seem quite justified.
As such, it came with a heavy dose of relief to see the club finally sign someone in the form of young Milos Jojic from Partizan Belgrade at the end of the transfer window as suitable cover to their hardened midfield.
The 21-year-old can play across the midfield and will undoubtedly prove his worth throughout the testing schedule ahead.
Dortmund Left out the Big Signings
As reported here by the excellent Clark Whitney, Dortmund spent much of the January transfer window scouting the proposed alternatives to a number of high-profile players throughout England's top flight.
Ex-Dortmund star Shinji Kagawa was the main source of rumours around the club, due to his lack of game time at Manchester United, yet Manchester City's own Edin Dzeko was also linked to provide some extra firepower up front.
Yet Klopp's side opted not to splash the cash last month and will continue the rest of the season with a relatively identical first team to the one with which they began the campaign. Will they regret it?
Bayern Didn't Sign David Luiz
Bayern may have a formidable squad full of brilliant, world-class players. Yet one identifiable weak spot in Pep Guardiola's side is, of course, the lack of a genuine back-up to the centre-back pairing of Jerome Boateng and Dante.
As such, speculation of David Luiz making the move from Chelsea to Bayern, as reported here by ESPN, became very popular and continued up until the end of the transfer window.
Yet Bayern had made their big announcement in the form of Lewandowski's proposed move and obviously saw no need to make another big move. Luiz remained a Chelsea player and Guardiola stuck with the defence he has.
Diego Left for Atletico
One of the more peculiar transfers of the Bundesliga window was that of Wolfsburg's Brazilian playmaker, Diego, making the quick move from the German club to Atletico Madrid in Spain.
The attacking midfielder has a strong history with the capital side, but questions marks have been raised as to why Wolfsburg felt the need to cash in on such an important player even if his contract was expiring in the summer.
Yet with the arrival of Kevin de Bruyne comes the logistical response of balancing the wage bill, and in young Maximilian Arnold, the club already had a bright player to jump in as replacement.
Sidney Sam Switched Sides
Another high-profile pre-contract agreement that went through over the January transfer window was that of Bayer Leverkusen's Sidney Sam agreeing to move to Schalke next season.
Come the end of the current campaign, Leverkusen's most prominent wide man will make the switch amongst the outcry of thousands of fans from the Factory Squad club. It's not quite on the same level as Lewandowski to Bayern but most definitely a real coup for the Royal Blues.
Dortmund Failed to Sign a Defender
We have already spoken of Dortmund's good fortune in signing young Milos Jojic as an ample replacement for the likes of the injured Ilkay Gundogan or Jakub Blaszczykowski.
Yet what the side also needed was a strong alternative to the limited centre-back options available to Klopp.
Mats Hummels is back and ready to return to the side, alongside a very capable Sokratis in the centre of defence, but the long-term injury of Neven Subotic should have been dealt with.
And if two of the aforementioned fit defenders pick up another knock, it may mean a premature elimination from the Champions League.
Ilkay Gundogan Stayed Put
Ilkay Gundogan's presence in the transfer window was so prominent that we had to give the player his own separate transfer tracker to allow fans to keep tabs on all the rumours surrounding his supposed departure.
Although the exciting midfielder has a contract that is expiring at quite a rate, it seems as though his long-term injury put a dent in any hopes of foreign clubs swooping in and stealing one of Dortmund's most beloved players.
Klopp needs Gundogan desperately and will be over the moon that he's still at the club.
Wolfsburg Finally Got Kevin De Bruyne
Amidst all the speculation, hearsay and nonsensical rumours that were flying around Germany throughout January, one move that undoubtedly put a smile on the face of most fans was the return of Kevin de Bruyne, as Wolfsburg tied up the Chelsea midfielder on a permanent deal.
De Bruyne, who made his name at Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga last season, is a player who will undoubtedly relish the return to German football where he can finally get his career back on track.
It's a big-money move from Wolfsburg that should do their hunt for Champions League football the world of good.
Schalke Missed out on Lewis Holtby
As reported by the Mirror and countless others throughout January, Tottenham central midfielder Lewis Holtby was heavily linked with a return to his former club Schalke.
The German international was actually linked with a move to Dortmund as well, funnily enough, yet it was fellow London side Fulham who eventually claimed his signature with a short loan move.
One wonders how much Julian Draxler's proposed move to Arsenal weighed upon the success of this deal.
Dortmund Look Ready for a New Striker
Although we've already mentioned Manchester City's Edin Dzeko as a possible alternative to the outgoing Robert Lewandowski, Dortmund were also linked with strikers closer to home near the end of the transfer window.
As reported by our own Clark Whitney here, the club were supposedly interested in not only Hoffenheim's Kevin Volland but also Hertha Berlin's Adrian Ramos. Those are two players whom they may well continue pursuing come the summer window.
Mandzukic Didn't Leave Bayern
Another player who was affected by the news of Robert Lewandowski's announced move to Bayern was their talisman Mario Mandzukic who was linked with a number of clubs throughout Europe, as reported here by yours truly.
During this period Mandzukic was, in fact, dropped from the squad by Pep Guardiola due to his lack of commitment during training, which at the time pointed to only one solution.
Yet the striker has returned to the side and is again starting games for Bayern. Last month may have seemed like the inevitable end of Mandzukic's time in Munich, but it would seem that time has not come yet.