Under the radar! Angel Di Maria, Andres Iniesta & the summer transfers you might have missed

Summer transfer window GFX
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Saudi Arabia's mind-boggling spending means there has been lasting intrigue in this summer's transfer window, but which deals avoided the limelight?

The extended Saudi and Turkish windows and frenetic business across the planet have made this feel like one of the longest transfer periods on record. Billions have been shelled out, with the Pro League's sudden push for exponential growth certain to propel the overall outlay to unimaginable heights.

Finally, though, the end is in sight; Saudi clubs completed their business late last week, and the window creaks shut in Turkey on September 15. From now until January, each club will have to make do with what they've got.

It will go down as one of the most dramatic, thriftless windows of all time, characterised by multiple players commanding nine-figure transfer fees. But away from the Declan Rices, Moises Caicedos and Harry Kanes, which transfers have gone under the radar?

GOAL runs through the deals you might have missed from the 2023 summer transfer window...

  1. Alan Varela (Boca Juniors to Porto)

    Highly-rated midfielder Alan Varela has followed the well-trodden path from South America to Portugal, joining Porto from Boca Juniors for what could be a bargain fee of €11 million (£9m/$12m). It certainly won't be the last we've heard of him.

  2. Alex Grimaldo (Benfica to Bayer Leverkusen)

    One of Benfica's longest-serving players, the attacking left-back - a Barcelona academy product - finally left Lisbon this summer after seven years to join up with compatriot Xabi Alonso in the Bundesliga.

  3. Alex Telles (Man Utd to Al-Nassr)

    Alex Telles (Man Utd to Al-Nassr)

    The Manchester United flop brought his time at Old Trafford to a permanent end this summer as the full-back joined up with Cristiano Ronaldo at Al-Nassr. The Saudi club paid just £4m ($5m) to land him.

  4. Allan Saint-Maximin (Newcastle to Al-Ahli)

    Allan Saint-Maximin (Newcastle to Al-Ahli)

    Saint-Maximin was a fan favourite at St. James' Park, but his spell on Tyneside came to a somewhat subdued end as the tricky winger joined the Saudi exodus, signing with Al-Ahli for £25m ($32m).

  5. Andres Iniesta (Vissel Kobe to Emirates Club)

    Despite turning 39 in May, Iniesta is still going. The Barcelona legend has joined just the third club of his glittering career, signing for Emirates Club in the UAE following a five-year spell with Vissel Kobe in Japan.

  6. Angel Di Maria (Juventus to Benfica)

    Angel Di Maria (Juventus to Benfica)

    Di Maria had all manner of offers on the table after leaving Juventus, including an eye-watering package from Saudi Arabia, but the winger went for the romantic option and returned to Benfica - the club where he made his name.

  7. Daichi Kamada (Frankfurt to Lazio)
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    Daichi Kamada (Frankfurt to Lazio)

    One of the protagonists in Eintracht Frankfurt's recent success, attacking midfielder Kamada eventually plumped for a move to Maurizio Sarri's Lazio having taken plenty of time to weigh up his options at the end of his contract. AC Milan, Borussia Dortmund, Liverpool, Man Utd and Tottenham were all linked across the summer.

  8. Denis Zakaria (Juventus to Monaco)

    Denis Zakaria (Juventus to Monaco)

    A loan at Chelsea didn't work out for Zakaria last season, through no fault of his own. Having returned to Juventus, the central midfielder has now moved on permanently, joining Monaco in Ligue 1.

  9. Dimitri Payet (Marseille to Vasco da Gama)

    West Ham cult hero Payet left his beloved Marseille for a second time in the summer and shocked everyone by choosing to move to Brazil over another French club or - as many would have expected - Saudi Arabia.

  10. Franck Kessie (Barcelona to Al-Ahli)

    As Barcelona reinforced their midfield with the arrivals of Ilkay Gundogan and Oriol Romeu, Kessie slipped out of the back door and signed for Al-Ahli for €12.5m (£10.8m/$13.4m) after an underwhelming spell at Camp Nou.

  11. Georginio Wijnaldum (PSG to Al-Ettifaq)
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    Georginio Wijnaldum (PSG to Al-Ettifaq)

    Jordan Henderson isn't the only former Liverpool midfielder to join up with Steven Gerrard at Al-Ettifaq this summer, with Wijnaldum bringing an end to his ill-fated Paris Saint-Germain spell by signing with the Saudis.

  12. Hirving Lozano (Napoli to PSV)

    Mexico international winger Lozano never truly hit the heights at Napoli, despite helping them to a Scudetto last term. He returns to PSV for a fraction of the fee that the Serie A side paid for him in 2019.

  13. Isco (Free agent to Real Betis)

    Isco endured a nightmare after finally departing Real Madrid, but he has found a new home after spending the second half of last season as a free agent. Following his fiery exit from Sevilla, the attacking midfielder is back enjoying his football with their city rivals Real Betis.

  14. Jesper Lindstrom (Frankfurt to Napoli)

    Jesper Lindstrom (Frankfurt to Napoli)

    Another member of that impressive, Europa League-winning Frankfurt side, talented youngster Lindstrom departed for Napoli late in the transfer window. The Serie A holders paid a cool €29m (£25m/$31m) for the 23-year-old attacker.

  15. Joaquin Correa (Inter to Marseille)

    Despite the presence of former Lazio boss Simone Inzaghi at Inter, Correa flopped at San Siro and was peripheral as the Nerazzurri reached the Champions League final in 2022-23. He stood little chance of getting many minutes this term and he's been shipped out on loan to Marseille as a result.

  16. Mateo Retegui (Boca Juniors to Genoa)

    Mateo Retegui (Boca Juniors to Genoa)

    It's been some year for Retegui - an Argentina-born Italy international who had not even set foot in the country before making his international debut earlier in 2023 (he was eligible for a call-up through a grandparent). The striker's already scored twice in four games for the Azzurri and will hope to make a big impact in Serie A with newly-promoted Genoa.

  17. Matteo Guendouzi (Marseille to Lazio)

    Matteo Guendouzi (Marseille to Lazio)

    One-time Arsenal man Guendouzi has been on the move again this summer, promptly swapping Marseille for Lazio in an €18m (£15.5m/$19m) deal having missed the penalty that cost OM a place in the Champions League.

  18. Nathan Tella (Southampton to Bayer Leverkusen)

    Nathan Tella (Southampton to Bayer Leverkusen)

    A prolific season on loan at Burnley in the Championship has been rewarded with a move to Leverkusen. Alonso's side made their move late in the transfer window, signing the English winger for £20m ($25m).

  19. Nemanja Matic (Roma to Rennes)

    Nemanja Matic (Roma to Rennes)

    It seems Matic's long-standing bond with Jose Mourinho has finally been broken, with the veteran Serbian midfielder departing for Rennes this summer after a reported falling out with the famously temperamental Roma boss.

  20. Niclas Fullkrug (Werder Bremen to Borussia Dortmund)

    Niclas Fullkrug (Werder Bremen to Borussia Dortmund)

    A regular scorer in the Bundesliga, Germany international striker Fullkrug swapped Bremen for Dortmund on deadline day. It's a move that's raised some eyebrows; the Black and Yellow have plenty of depth up front and, at 30 years old, he is not exactly a spring chicken.

  21. Otavio (Porto to Al-Nassr)

    Another player in their prime who has swapped European football for the Middle East. The 28-year-old winger has joined international team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo at Al-Nassr, with the Saudi club paying a massive €60m (£52m/$64m) to land him.

  22. Yassine Bounou (Sevilla to Al-Hilal)

    Widely regarded as one of the best goalkeepers around, Bounou is yet another big name to have left European football behind. Al-Hilal are the club who managed to lure him to Saudi Arabia, paying €20m (£17m/$21m) for the 32-year-old's services.

  23. Yannick Carrasco (Atletico Madrid to Al-Shabab)

    Carrasco became one of (presumably) very few players to ever play in both the Chinese Super League AND the Saudi Pro League as he signed for struggling Al-Shabab from Atletico Madrid late in the window. Still just 29, who knows whether we will see him in European football again?

  24. Youri Tielemans (Leicester City to Aston Villa)
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    Youri Tielemans (Leicester City to Aston Villa)

    Having regularly been linked with big hitters Arsenal and Liverpool in recent times, Tielemans surprisingly decided to join the Unai Emery revolution at Aston Villa in the summer when his Leicester contract expired. He's already struggling to break into the team, though.