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Five major transfers in Spain for 2016-17

18 August 2016, 12:10

Madrid - Ahead of the start of the 2016-17 La Liga season on Friday, AFP Sports takes a look at the five biggest incoming transfers of the close season in Spain:

Alvaro Morata

Juventus (ITA) to Real Madrid, 30 million euros ($33.4 million)

Fresh from winning a second Champions League in three years, Real Madrid resisted the temptation to go for a new Galactico, but did strengthen an already fearsome forward line with the return of Spanish international striker Morata.

The 23-year-old improved markedly in his two years since leaving Madrid for Juventus, where he won two Serie A titles and played a huge part in knocking Real out of the Champions League in 2015 with a goal in each leg of the Italian giants' semi-final win over the 11-time European champions.

Morata also scored three times in four games for Spain at Euro 2016, but won't be guaranteed to start as he will battle Karim Benzema for the central striking role with the superstar talents of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale occupying the flanks.

However, he does offer far greater depth should Benzema's fitness and off-field problems persist than that offered by departed duo Javier Hernandez and Jese Rodriguez in the past two seasons.

Andre Gomes

Valencia to Barcelona, 35 million euros rising to 55 million euros

Real were beaten by eternal rivals Barcelona to one of their other summer targets as the Spanish champions snapped up Gomes from Valencia after his role in Portugal's Euro 2016 glory.

Despite his huge price tag, Gomes endured a disappointing second year at Valencia last season and was actually dropped for Portugal's stunning win over hosts France in the final of the Euros.

Displacing the likes of Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta and Ivan Rakitic from the Barca midfield seems a huge task.

However, at just 23 he possesses enormous potential thanks to goalscoring ability from midfield and has the technical quality to fit in at the Camp Nou.

Nicolas Gaitan

Benfica (POR) to Atletico Madrid, 25 million euros

Atletico lost out on the Champions League by one missed penalty and La Liga by three points last season as a fine campaign went unrewarded in terms of trophies.

However, the club's growth on and off the field has meant for the first time in Diego Simeone's tenure as coach they haven't had to sell any of their stars this summer and have made some shrewd additions with Argentine international Gaitan among them.

Gaitan inflicted Simeone's only Champions League defeat at home in last season's group stages and has finally made his move across the border to La Liga after 41 goals in his six seasons with Benfica.

Samuel Umtiti

Lyon (FRA) to Barcelona, 25 million euros

Barca have spent big on a number of occasions to find the perfect partner for Gerard Pique since former captain Carles Puyol retired, but the likes of Jeremy Mathieu and Thomas Vermaelen haven't been up to the task of supplanting Javier Mascherano.

The Argentine hardman has been rewarded with a new three-year contract, but is expected to face a stiffer test from Umtiti who shone in France's 2-0 Euro 2016 semi-final win over world champions Germany, on just his second international appearance, having replaced the injured Mathieu in Didier Deschamps' squad.

Kevin Gameiro

Sevilla to Atletico Madrid, 30 million euros

Atletico's search for a star striker to partner Euro 2016 top scorer Antoine Griezmann saw them land the hero of Sevilla's third consecutive Europa League triumph last season in Gameiro.

The Frenchman's pace and work rate is ideally suited to Simeone's high energy style. Gameiro scored 29 times last season and, if he can recreate that form, Atletico can look forward to pushing Barca and Real all the way again for the title this season.

The Catalan side were hoping to sign Gameiro themselves but the player opted to move to the capital, where he will be a key player for Atletico.



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