Ahead of the new Premier League season, AFP Sports lists the top 10 biggest incoming transfers of the transfer window to date (fees approximate and as reported by British media):
- Liverpool to Manchester City; £44 million ($68.6 million, 63.1 million euros), rising to £49 million
Public refusal to sign a new contract worth £100,000 per week with Liverpool earned Sterling widespread opprobrium, but did not deter City from making the 20-year-old the most expensive English player in history. Liverpool fans, who have also lost Steven Gerrard, are likely to give the England forward a hostile reception when he returns to Anfield on March 1.
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- Aston Villa to Liverpool; £32.5 million
Having plundered 101 goals in 2013-14, Liverpool managed a meagre 52 last season, the legacy of Daniel Sturridge's injury problems and Luis Suarez's departure to Barcelona. The club have taken remedial action by breaking the bank to sign burly Belgium international Benteke, who scored 49 goals for Villa in 101 appearances.
- Hoffenheim (GER) to Liverpool; £29 million
Another big-money arrival at Anfield, 23-year-old forward Firmino signed after four impressive years at Hoffenheim that have seen him break into the Brazil squad. "He is a very, very good player -- he scores a lot of great goals, and that's what we need," says new team-mate Emre Can.
- PSV Eindhoven (NED) to Manchester United; £25 million
Blooded by Louis van Gaal at international level, Depay has rejoined forces with the former Netherlands manager after inspiring PSV to the Eredivisie title with a league-leading haul of 22 goals. A direct, skilful forward, he has played behind Wayne Rooney in pre-season, but is expected to line up on the left wing.
- Southampton to Manchester United; £25 million
Emerged as one of the leading holding midfielders in England during his seven-year spell with Southampton and is now a candidate to anchor France's midfield at the 2016 European Championship. Previously linked with Tottenham Hotspur.
- PSV Eindhoven (NED) to Newcastle United; £14.5 million
After months of protests from fans, Newcastle owner Mike Ashley pledged to invest in his squad at the end of last season and has been true to his word, making Wijnaldum the club's third most expensive signing behind Michael Owen and Alan Shearer. An inventive attacking midfielder, the 24-year-old contributed 14 goals to PSV's title triumph last season.
- Bayern Munich (GER) to Manchester United; £14.4 million
Schweinsteiger's switch from Bayern makes him only the ninth United player to have been a member of a World Cup-winning squad, following Germany's triumph over Argentina last year. At 31, he brings a wealth of authority and experience, but there are question marks over his fitness following three injury-plagued seasons in Bavaria.
- Anderlecht (BEL) to Newcastle United; £13 million
A bruising, conventional centre-forward, Serbia international Mitrovic scored 44 goals in 90 appearances for Anderlecht and hopes to emulate St James' Park legend Alan Shearer. "I know all about Shearer," he said. "He's one of the best strikers in football history. I really respect him. It's an honour to play in his position for his club."
- Torino (ITA) to Manchester United; £12.7 million
Obliged to use Antonio Valencia as a makeshift right-back last season, Louis van Gaal has elected to bring in a specialist in the shape of 25-year-old Italy international Darmian. Former Azzurri centre-back Marco Materazzi believes Darmian is "the best wing-back in Italy".
- Southampton to Liverpool; £12.5 million
Clyne enjoyed a fine 2014-15 campaign, earning a queue of admirers for his marauding performances with Southampton and breaking into the England team. Replaces Glen Johnson, who has joined Stoke City.