Real Madrid have been goaded for treating the January transfer like Santa Claus – unlike their rivals who spent big in the window.
A staggering £1.35billion was splurged on players during January across the top five leagues in Europe, with Prem clubs spending £815million, Ligue 1 sides dishing out £110m, and Serie A and La Liga teams forking out £25m respectively on new stars, according to finance boffins Deloitte.
But none of that cash was spent by Real who "don't believe in the winter transfer window," according to Marca. And the ludicrous theory was slammed by sports reporter Mark Goldbridge who scoffed: "It's not Santa Claus lol! It bloody exists. Just ask Chelsea," in reference to the Blues' incredulous spending spree in January.
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Graham Potter's side departed with an exorbitant £326million in a squad revamp last month. They brought in Mykhailo Mudryk from Shakhtar Donetsk in a deal worth £88.5m, Monaco defender Benoit Badiashile for £35m, PSV winger Noni Madueke for £29m, and Lyon ace Malo Gusto for £26.3m.
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Then the Blues smashed the British transfer record to haul in Enzo Fernandez from Benfica for £107m on transfer deadline day, to the disgust of his former boss Roger Schmidt, but to the delight of Chelsea owner Todd Boehly. He told club officials to get the midfielder at all costs following his World Cup final heroics with winners Argentina.
But Chelsea weren't the only club to be involved in a last-minute transfer frenzy on deadline day as Real's rivals Barca tried to get in on the action despite being lumbered with wage sanctions.
Xavi's side were on the brink of snapping up LA Galaxy defender Julian Araujo for £3.2m. But in a shocking turn of events, the Blaugrana reportedly missed on on their man by an agonising 18 seconds due to a fatal computer error.
The blooper was explained by Barca chief Mateu Alemany who revealed before his side's 2-1 win over Real Betis: "It is true that it could not be done due to a system error. It was for 18 seconds, we will see what FIFA says.
Julian would've been the second Araujo to pull on a Barca shirt alongside namesake Ronald. Ronald sent fans into a frenzy when he seemingly vanished during Barca's match with Betis on Wednesday night.
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