The largest deal to be completed on Europe’s transfer deadline day was Paris Saint-Germain’s hope to sign France forward Randal Kolo Muani from Eintracht Frankfurt on Friday.
The Paris suburb-born attacker, 24, has been PSG’s summertime goal and is eager to join the French champions.
Frankfurt confirmed “his desire to be transferred to another club before the transfer window ends on Friday evening” after he did not show up for training this week.
Kolo Muani, who joined Eintracht from Nantes only a year ago, did not participate in the team’s 2-0 victory against Levski Sofia at home on Thursday, which guaranteed them a spot in the Europa Conference League group stage.
Frankfurt, though, had up until Friday morning rejected PSG’s offers for a player who had a 2027 contract with his current club.
Hugo Ekitike, the out-of-favour attacker, is reportedly what the Ligue 1 club has tried to give to Eintracht as part of any transfer, as they want to pair Kolo Muani with other French internationals Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele in their attack.
Moments after Mbappe rejoined Luis Enrique’s squad in August, a contract issue that had dominated French media throughout the summer, all likelihood of his leaving PSG during this transfer window vanished.
The 24-year-old’s contract with PSG ends at the end of current season, and the club has previously said that he must consent to being transferred during the window unless he signs a new agreement.
“Kylian plays for PSG. Club president Nasser al-Khelaifi told radio RMC on Thursday in Monaco after his attendance at the Champions League group stage draw, “We are having really good discussions with him.”
“He is an incredible player, both personally and professionally.”
Khelaifi said, “We are going to work on it and try to do something,” before indicating he was not interested in discussing the possibility of Mbappe signing a contract extension.
During this transfer window, PSG has spent over 250 million euros ($270 million) on new players, including 60 million euros for Sporting of Portugal’s Manuel Ugarte, a midfielder for Uruguay.
Since the transfer market started in June, the team supported by Qatar has easily spent the most of any club in Europe that is not in the Premier League.
That’s even though Bayern Munich, who had already acquired center-back Kim Min-jae from Italian champions Napoli, paid a Bundesliga record of 100 million euros to buy Harry Kane from Tottenham Hotspur.
In the other significant summer move in Europe, Real Madrid paid Borussia Dortmund 103 million euros to get Jude Bellingham.
Clubs in major leagues around Europe have had to contend not just with the regular exodus of talent from the rest of Europe to the more richer English Premier League, but also with fresh competition from Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi Pro League has garnered media attention because to its extravagant expenditures, most notably the 100 million euros that Al-Hilal of Riyadh reportedly paid PSG for Neymar.
Portugal’s Otavio, a winger, left the main leagues of Europe to play in Saudi Arabia. He paid an estimated 60 million euros to join Al-Nassr from Porto.
Brazil midfielder Fabinho was acquired by Al-Ittihad of Jeddah from Liverpool for a reported value of around 50 million euros, while Al-Ahli spent a comparable sum to get Gabri Veiga from Celta Vigo.
One of the most concerning signals to the historically dominating European leagues that they can no longer expect to hoard all of the greatest players was the latter action.
While players like Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo were beyond their prime when they decided to go to the Gulf, Veiga, a 21-year-old midfielder, was only breaking through in La Liga the previous season.
Given that FIFA says the transfer market in Saudi Arabia is open until September 20, there may yet be more significant transactions from Europe to Saudi Arabia.