Biggest January 2019 transfers across Europe: Mario Balotelli, Alvaro Morata, Frenkie De Jong
By Michael Hincks
Last Updated: 01/02/19 6:48am
With the January transfer window now closed, we look at 10 of the most notable deals that were made across Europe.
From surprise moves for former Premier League players, to hotly-tipped youngsters hoping to make the step up, there were plenty of intriguing deals made across the continent.
Here are the standout transfers from Europe this January...
Former Liverpool and Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli joined Marseille on a six-month deal after reportedly falling out with Nice manager Patrick Vieira.
The 28-year-old's move was a free transfer, and the striker is set to earn a total of £2.6m until the end of the season, according to Sky in Italy.
Balotelli continued his impressive run of goalscoring debuts on his first appearance for Marseille in Ligue 1, netting in a home defeat to Lille.
Arguably the most surprising move of the January transfer window saw former Tottenham and Portsmouth midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng join Barcelona on loan from Sassuolo.
Having started his career at Hertha Berlin before signing for Spurs in 2007, the six-month loan to Barcelona marks the 10th move in 12 years for the former Ghana international.
How Boateng ended up at Barcelona
Boateng's loan move to Barcelona from Sassuolo is arguably the most surprising deal of the January window. Here's how it happened...
His versatility makes him a valuable squad addition at the Nou Camp as Barca look to solidify their place at the top of La Liga and fight for a first Champions League trophy in eight years.
Boateng made his debut in a 2-0 Copa del Rey defeat to Sevilla.
Considered one of the best young players in world football, reported suitors for 21-year-old Frenkie de Jong included Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City.
However, it was Barcelona who won the race to secure his signature, with the Ajax midfielder set to join on July 1.
The Netherlands international joined for a fee of £65m (€75m) with a further £9.5m (€11m) in add-ons, signing a five-year contract until the summer of 2024.
Dutch football journalist Marcel van der Kraan told the Transfer Talk Podcast that De Jong had wanted to join City before he signed for Barca.
Brahim Diaz followed in Jadon Sancho's footsteps in becoming another teenage talent to leave Manchester City in search of first-team football when completing a £15.5m move to Real Madrid, in a deal that could rise to £22m with add-ons.
The 19-year-old, who signed a six-and-a-half-year deal at the Bernabeu, was left out of City's Premier League squad for the 2018-19 season and was set to become a free agent in the summer.
When I decided that it was time to leave Manchester City, I only put three options on the table. The first, to play for Real Madrid; the second, to play for Real Madrid; the third, to play for Real Madrid.
Upon signing for Real, he said: "When I decided that it was time to leave Manchester City, I only put three options on the table. The first, to play for Real Madrid; the second, to play for Real Madrid; the third, to play for Real Madrid."
Intriguingly, a clause in the deal means City will receive 15 per cent of any future transfer fee, but will rise to 40 per cent if the buying club is Manchester United.
Morata ended a difficult spell at Chelsea with a move back to Madrid.
Having signed for a club-record £70m from Real Madrid less than two years ago, the striker has returned on an 18-month loan to Atletico Madrid, where he started his career as a youngster.
"My life has taken many detours, but it was destiny that I would arrive here," said Morata at his presentation.
"I'm really proud to be back at this club, it's my childhood team, I have so many happy memories, it means a lot to be here."
Chelsea were pursuing Paredes as a replacement for Cesc Fabregas, who left for Monaco, and it has been reported they even agreed a deal in principle early in January.
However, apparently they did not proceed quickly enough, allowing Paris Saint-Germain to secure the deal for a fee around £35m.
It is thought that Maurizio Sarri was keen on the Argentina midfielder, but there were reservations higher up the hierarchy.
Gonzalo Higuain's loan move to Chelsea led to AC Milan sealing the permanent signing of striker Krzysztof Piatek from Genoa on a four-and-a-half year contract.
The £31m deal saw Genoa lower their original asking price of £36m (€40m), but Milan paid the fee upfront and will include add-ons should they finish in a Champions League qualifying spot in Serie A.
Piatek has been in terrific form so far in the Serie A, scoring 19 goals in 21 appearances for Genoa, and he netted twice on his first start for Milan to secure a 2-0 Coppa Italia victory over Napoli.
Demba Ba (Free agent to Istanbul Basaksehir)
One January move which perhaps went under the radar was that of former Newcastle, Chelsea and West Ham striker Demba Ba, who joined Turkish Super Lig side Istanbul Basaksehir.
Ba, 33, teams up with Robinho, Emmanuel Adebayor and Gael Clichy at Basaksehir, whose Europa League campaign was ended by Burnley in the third qualifying round back in August.
Former Real Madrid and Besiktas defender Pepe signed a two-and-a-half year deal with Porto, rejoining the Primeira Liga club 12 years after leaving.
The 35-year-old Portuguese spent three seasons at the Estádio do Dragao between 2004 and 2007, winning two league titles and subsequently joining Real Madrid for £30m.
Pepe terminated his contract with Turkish side Besiktas in December and had been linked with Arsenal and Wolves before reuniting with former Real team-mate Iker Casillas in Portugal.
Bayern Munich have bolstered their defence with the signing of French World Cup winner Benjamin Pavard from Stuttgart.
The 22-year-old will join Bayern in the summer, having signed a five-year deal, with reports suggesting the Bundesliga sides have agreed a transfer fee of around €35m (£30.53m).