As the summer transfer window nears its climax, clubs across Europe are continuing to adopt a prudent approach. Even the continent's biggest names have seemed reluctant to loosen the purse strings, although teams in England – often the busiest at this time of year – have been bucking that trend by taking a few more calculated risks. FIFA.com now looks back over the last two weeks of comings and goings.
"His talent doesn't need to be described to our fans because he scored a lot of goals against us for his old club," explained Sir Alex Ferguson as he presented Robin van Persie to the press. The Manchester United manager was all smiles as he sat alongside the former Arsenal striker, and understandably so given his capture of last season's top scorer in the Premier League with 30 goals. He has since splashed out for another Dutchman too, adding left-back Alexander Buttner to the Red Devils' ranks from Vitesse Arnhem. In the sky blue half of the city, meanwhile, champions Manchester City have strengthened their midfield by swooping for young Everton talent Jack Rodwell.
Rodwell may be gone, but Everton supporters are now hoping for big things from Kevin Mirallas, who topped the Greek scoring charts courtesy of 20 strikes for Olympiacos last term. Everton's neighbours Liverpool have been active as well, allowing Welsh international Craig Bellamy to join his hometown club Cardiff City but picking up Bellamy's fellow Welshman Joe Allen from Swansea City and Heerenveen's Moroccan forward Ossama Assaidi.
Swansea have bolstered their own squad by luring young centre-back Kyle Bartley from Arsenal along with Celtic's Korea Republic midfielder Ki Sung-Yueng, fresh from his bronze medal at the 2012 Men's Olympic Football Tournament. As for Queens Park Rangers, they are close to completing a double acquisition of their own, having recruited Jose Bosingwa from Chelsea and zeroing in on a loan deal for a second Portuguese defender in the shape of Real Madrid's Ricardo Carvalho.
Transfer business could even be said to be booming in the Premier League, with Cameroonian defender Sebastien Bassong leaving Tottenham Hotspur to sign for Norwich City and his former Arsenal compatriot Alexandre Song swapping north London for Barcelona. Chelsea's Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku has joined West Bromwich Albion on loan, scoring a goal in West Brom's 3-0 opening win against Liverpool, while out-of-contract French forward Louis Saha has said his goodbyes at Spurs and signed for Sunderland.
Elsewhere in England's top flight, French midfielder Alou Diarra has taken up residence at West Ham and Newcastle United have snared Dutchman Vernon Anita, the duo departing Marseille and Ajax respectively. Also busy, Wigan Athletic have plumped for Ivorian striker Arouna Kone, who notched 17 goals for Levante last season and will be experiencing his fifth different championship after stints in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and Spain.
That is an impressive tally, but Danish midfielder Christian Poulsen can boast one league more as he begins life at Ajax, leaving French club Evian and a list of former sides that includes Schalke, Sevilla, Liverpool and Juventus. Nor is he the only player to have quit Ligue 1, with Portuguese international Paulo Machado switching from Toulouse to Olympiacos.
French football has extended a welcome to Romanian forward Adrian Mutu,with the former Chelsea, Juve and Fiorentina man leaving Cesena to commence a new adventure at Ajaccio. Brazilian free agent Brandao has agreed terms with Saint-Etienne, meanwhile, and Paris Saint-Germain's Serbian defender Milan Bisevac has opted for life at Lyon. Desperate to earn promotion from Ligue 2, Monaco have also been making headlines by splashing out close to €11m for River Plate's 17-year-old Argentinian prodigy Lucas Ocampos.
Twice the attacking midfielder's age, Gabriel Heinze has left Roma and Europe to return to Argentinian side Newell's Old Boys, where he began his career. Fellow South American veteran Adriano has made a move of his own, departing Corinthians for his former club Flamengo, while Rafael Moura – behind Fred in the Fluminense pecking order – is now settling in at Internacional Porto Alegre, where he faces competition for a starting berth from no less a talent than Diego Forlan.
Back in Europe, the Uruguayan striker's erstwhile employers Inter Milan have dipped into the market for Forlan's compatriot Alvaro Pereira, enticing the 26-year-old to Italy from Porto. I Nerazzurri have likewise brought in Antonio Cassano from AC Milan, with Cassano's fellow Italy striker Giampaolo Pazzini travelling in the opposite direction. As usual, goalscorers have been in much demand, and while Paraguay's Nelson Valdez has traversed Europe to join Valencia on loan from Rubin Kazan, Theofanis Gekas has exited Turkish club Samsunspor – where he found the target eight times in 11 matches last season – for Levante. Lastly, Nigerian marksman Joseph Akpala will harry defenders for Werder Bremen in 2012/13 after calling time on his stint with Club Brugge.