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5 strange things that happened in the January Transfer Window

Rashi Arie
TOP CONTRIBUTOR
Top 5 / Top 10
1.19K   //    08 Feb 2018, 10:44 IST

Philippe Coutinho joined FC Barcelona for a fee  of £146 million (Feb. 3, 2018 - Source: Alex Caparros/Getty Images Europe)
Philippe Coutinho joined FC Barcelona for a fee of £146 million

This year's winter transfer window closed on Wednesday, January 31. Clubs were granted a month to sign new players and sell their unwanted assets as they all prepare for the second half of the 2017/18 campaign.

Premier League clubs spent a whopping £430m on acquisitions, while La Liga sides spent a record £250m on new additions. In the Bundesliga, Bayern Munich were - once again - strengthened at the expense of their rivals. Borussia Dortmund signed Michy Batshuayi on loan to replace Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in attack, while RB Leipzig rebuffed Liverpool's attempts to seal an early deal to acquire Naby Keita before his summer move.

There were not any significant transfers in Serie A. In fact, it's the transfers which failed to materialise that made headlines.

Simon Verdi stayed put at Bologna, despite rumoured interest from Napoli. AS Roma managed to keep hold of Edin Dzeko, in spite of tireless speculation linking him with Chelsea - while Inter Milan failed in their attempts to sign PSG midfielder Javier Pastore on loan.

The same was the story for Ligue 1 too. Despite the rumours, AS Monaco managed to maintain all of their star players - having seen the bulk of their title-winning squad stripped bare last summer. Bordeaux meanwhile rejected offers from both North London clubs in their attempts to sign star youngster Malcom.

Here are the strangest happenings of an eventful transfer window:


#1: Alexis Sanchez - Henrikh Mkhitaryan swap

Alexis Sanchez left Arsenal for Manchester United (Feb. 2, 2018 - Source: Alex Morton/Getty Images Europe)
Alexis Sanchez left Arsenal for Manchester United

A straight player swap is now a rare occurrence, but we witnessed one in this transfer window. Arsenal agreed to swap Alexis Sanchez for Manchester United's creative midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

It seemed inevitable that Alexis was going to leave the Gunners in January. With just six months remaining on his existing contract in north London, he had shown no intention to sign an extension.

Meanwhile, Mkhitaryan has struggled for consistency and failed to shine in a system which does not allow him much freedom - meaning he was angling for a move away.

When the transfer window re-opened, both sides negotiated a deal, as United's reported cash bid was not deemed fair enough to justify an upfront sale.

Answering the question as to who got the better deal is impossible to know at present, as both players are excellent in their own separate ways and will need time to settle into new surroundings. Alexis netted on his Premier League debut, while Mkhitaryan created three assists - the first Arsenal player since Santi Cazorla in 2013 - on his home debut last weekend.

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Rashi Arie
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