Paris Saint-Germain completed the signing of France striker Randal Kolo Muani from Eintracht Frankfurt in the biggest deal to go through on transfer deadline day in Europe on Friday.
The 24-year-old forward, who hails from the Paris suburbs, had been a target for PSG all summer and the club confirmed shortly after the transfer window closed that he had signed a five-year contract at the Parc des Princes.
Media reports in France said the Ligue 1 champions had agreed a fee totalling 90 million euros ($97m) to complete the signing.
He missed training with Frankfurt this week, with the German side confirming “his desire to be transferred to another club before the transfer window ends on Friday evening”.
Kolo Muani, who signed for the Bundesliga club from Nantes only a year ago, played no part in Eintracht’s 2-0 home win over Bulgarian side Levski Sofia on Thursday that saw them seal a place in the Europa Conference League group stage.
However, up until Friday morning Frankfurt had rejected PSG’s proposals for the player.
It was understood that the Ligue 1 side had attempted to offer their out-of-favour forward Hugo Ekitike to Eintracht as part of any deal, as they looked to team Kolo Muani up with fellow French internationals Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele in their attack.
Any chances of Mbappe leaving PSG in this transfer window faded after he returned to Luis Enrique’s team in August, ending a contract dispute that had dominated headlines all summer in France.
Mbappe’s contract expires at the end of this season and PSG had previously said the 24-year-old must agree to be sold in the window unless he signed a new deal.
“Kylian is a PSG player. We are having really good discussions with him,” club president Nasser al-Khelaifi told broadcaster RMC on Thursday in Monaco after attending the draw for the Champions League group stage.
“He is a magnificent player, as a person and as a professional.
“We are going to work on it and try to do something,” Khelaifi added, before saying he did not want to talk about Mbappe possibly signing a contract extension.
Kolo Muani’s arrival means PSG have spent in the region of 350 million euros on new signings in this window.
Late on Thursday they announced the signing of attacking prospect Bradley Barcola from Lyon, who said they had sold the player for 45 million euros plus five million euros more in possible bonuses.
– Saudi impact –
Qatar-backed PSG have spent comfortably the most of any club in Europe outside the Premier League since the transfer window opened in June.
That is despite Bayern Munich dishing out a Bundesliga record of a reported 100 million euros to sign Harry Kane from Tottenham Hotspur, having earlier signed centre-back Kim Min-jae from Italian champions Napoli.
The other major transfer of the European summer saw Real Madrid spend 103 million euros to sign Jude Bellingham from Borussia Dortmund.
Other notable moves on deadline day included Barcelona completing the loan signings of Portugal duo Joao Felix and Joao Cancelo from Atletico Madrid and Manchester City respectively.
As well as the usual drain of talent from the rest of Europe to the far wealthier English Premier League, clubs in major leagues on the continent have also had to deal with the new competition coming from Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi Pro League has made headlines with its spending, led by the reported 100 million euros paid to PSG by Al-Hilal of Riyadh for Neymar.
Others who have swapped Europe’s major leagues for Saudi Arabia include Portugal winger Otavio, who joined Al-Nassr from Porto for a reported 60 million euros.
Al-Ittihad of Jeddah signed Brazil midfielder Fabinho from Liverpool for a fee close to 50 million euros, while Al-Ahli paid a similar amount to secure Gabri Veiga from Celta Vigo.
The latter move was one of the most ominous indications to the traditionally dominant European leagues that they can no longer expect to stockpile all of the best players.
While the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema were past their prime when they opted to move to the Gulf, midfielder Veiga is just 21 and only made his breakthrough in La Liga last season.
More big moves from Europe to Saudi could still follow, with the transfer window there open until September 20 according to FIFA.