Madrid shelled out just 55 million euros, and a large chunk of that was reserved for Fabio Coentrao. Nuri Sahin, Jose Callejon and Raphael Varane arrived for modest fees, while Hamit Altintop was acquired on a free.
Barcelona spent the exact same amount. The pot went to largely Alexis Sanchez and his 26 million euros with the other 29 million euros used to complete one of the longest-running and most-followed transfer sagas over the past 12 months in Cesc Fabregas.
The rest of La Liga is trying to play catch up to the two behemoths, and topping Spain’s shopping bill was Atletico Madrid. The club lost three of its biggest stars, Aguero, Forlan and De Gea, but it used the earnings wisely to sign Radamel Falcao for 40 million euros. Arda Turan, Silvio and Ruben Micael totaled 25 million euros while Diego joined from Wolfsburg on a loan deal.
Valencia lost the final piece of its holy trinity as Juan Mata followed David Villa and David Silva out of Mestalla. But the club made smart recruitments in the form of Pablo Piatti, Diego Alves, Dani Parejo, Adil Rami, Victor Ruiz and Sergio Canales on loan.
Malaga is another club attempting to break the duopoly, and its Qatari owners invested 55 million euros to make some impressive coups. Jeremy Toulalan, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Joris Mathijsen, Joaquin and Nacho Monreal were all convinced to move to La Rosaleda, as was the biggest acquisition, Santi Cazorla. The Spanish international’s former club Villarreal also lost Joan Capdevila, but managed to rope in Cristian Zapata, Javier Camunas, and then Jonathan De Guzman on deadline day.
Elsewhere, Athletic Bilbao snapped up promising Andre Herrera from Zaragoza, Dani Guiza finally returned to Spain as he signed for Getafe, Real Betis nabbed Roque Santa Cruz on a free from Manchester City, while Sevilla’s highest profile capture was Manu del Moral.