The deals are done. Contracts are signed. The money is paid. The trades are finalized.
As the 2014 January transfer window for FIFA soccer players comes to a close, here is a look back at the most rewarding signs and the most shocking losses that general managers scrambled to make before the Feb. 1 deadline.
One of the biggest signs that made headline news in the English Premier League was Manchester United’s profitable gain of Chelsea’s attacking midfielder, Juan Mata. The departure of the 25-year-old Spaniard left Chelsea fans questioning current Chelsea and former Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho. Mourinho let go of the two-time EPL Player of the Year, trading him to their English rivals at a Manchester United record transfer sale of a whopping 37 million euros.
With new and younger Chelsea players like Oscar coming on to the pitch and making a greater impact than Mata did, the decision to sell the international star appeared evident in the stats. However, David Moyes, ManU’s general manager, and fans at Old Trafford seem happy with the new arrival and hope to incorporate Mata into the attack in order to create a more lethal offensive system.
A major signing came to the Italy Serie A from CSKA Moscow’s in the form of the free transfer of Japanese international Keisuke Honda to AC Milan. Currently 10th in the Serie A, AC Milan has struggled to grab a successful foothold within the league. Major changes were apparently necessary both on and off the pitch. The club even decided to boot their current manager, Massimiliano Allegri, and replace him with recently retired star Dutchman and ex-AC Milan midfielder Clarence Seedorf. Honda will hopefully help Seedorf rejuvenate the attacking line with players like Kaka.
The transfer of Newcastle’s star midfielder Yohan Cabaye to France’s Paris Saint Germain proved to be one of the most shocking losses, disappointing fans and teammates alike. A major scorer and playmaker for the BPL team, Cabaye’s departure from Newcastle will prove to be a fatal hit for Newcastle manager Alan Pardew. Pardew had issued statements early in the transfer window, promising fans that the Magpies will not sell their star player. However, the French international was lured back to his homeland at the going price of 23 million euros.
Another major misstep during the transfer window happened when EPL team Liverpool missed out on their chance to sign star Ukrainian winger, Yehven Konoplyanka. The inability to sign an explosive player like Konoplyanka caused another loss for the Liverpool chief managing director, Ian Ayre, who was not able to secure high-profile Egyptian winger, Muhammad Salah, weeks before. Reds fans are outraged that Liverpool’s deal with the 24-year-old Ukrainian failed to pull through before the deadline, leaving Liverpool without a strong presence on the flanking regions in their game. Currently standing in fourth place in the BPL, Liverpool needed these major signs in order to claw their way into the coveted top three.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Feb. 4 print edition. Michelle Tran is a staff writer. Email her at email@example.com