La Liga transfer window: Silva’s return, the Suarez saga and Messi stays

Lionel Messi’s thwarted attempt to force his way out of Barcelona to join Manchester City dominated the La Liga transfer window — and it was quite fitting that a deal which never happened was the biggest story of the summer.

Some of the speculation has been just as outlandish as ever — Real Madrid were unlikely to have seriously come close to signing striker Alexander Sorloth from Crystal Palace, contrary to reports in the Spanish media. However, the unprecedented current circumstances have meant that sometimes the truth has been stranger than fiction.

For instance, Barcelona really did make an enquiry to take young Norwich right-back Max Aarons on loan, The Athletic were able to confirm.

Few Spanish clubs were flush with money even before COVID-19 seriously affected finances around the league and four of the five biggest deals of the summer had been agreed before the pandemic hit, the other before the window opened. The more…

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