Football: The five biggest summer transfers in France

David Luiz of Brazil poses with his new Paris St Germain team jersey after a news conference at the Peninsula Paris luxury hotel in Paris, on Aug 7, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
David Luiz of Brazil poses with his new Paris St Germain team jersey after a news conference at the Peninsula Paris luxury hotel in Paris, on Aug 7, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS (AFP) - The five biggest transfers in France during the summer transfer window, which closed on Monday night, Sept 1, 2014:

David Luiz - Chelsea to Paris Saint-Germain; 49.5 million euros (£81.2 million)

The Brazilian centre-back joined Paris Saint-Germain from Chelsea for a world record fee for a defender and is reunited with international team-mate Thiago Silva at the heart of Laurent Blanc's back four.

The World Cup proved a traumatic experience for the 27-year-old and his compatriots as they were demolished 7-1 by Germany in the semi-finals but Blanc tipped his new signing to banish those painful memories and forge a formidable partnership with Silva at the Parc des Princes.

The former Benfica man's decision-making can prove suspect at times but Luiz is a strong character blessed with natural ability and with Silva alongside him to keep him in check, he should blossom in the French capital. He also has the versatility to play a more advanced role in front of the back four, if required.

Serge Aurier - Toulouse to Paris Saint-Germain; loan

Aurier, 21, was the standout right-back in the French top flight a year ago with Toulouse and was named in the Ligue 1 team of the season for the 2013/14 campaign. He then performed admirably for the Ivory Coast in Brazil despite the Elephants' premature exit from the World Cup before Paris Saint-Germain swooped in and snapped up Aurier on a season-long loan with an option to make the move permanent.

Aurier, who spent much of his upbringing in the Paris outskirts, said the move was "a childhood dream" while PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi lauded the Ivorian as "one of the most promising young players in world football".

Aurier poses quite the attacking threat, too, as his six goals and six assists made him Europe's most prolific defender last season. He must compete with Gregory van der Wiel for a starting berth, however.

Jordan Ayew - Marseille to Lorient; undisclosed

Ayew, 22, penned a four-year contract at Lorient after struggling for first-team opportunities at Marseille. The Ghanaian striker impressed during the the second half of last season on loan at strugglers Sochaux where he netted five goals in 17 appearances, arguably his best run in the French top flight, but was unable to prevent the club from suffering relegation to the second tier.

Ayew is charged with the task of replacing Jeremie Aliadiere, who moved to Qatar, and Cameroon international Vincent Aboubakar, sold to FC Porto after scoring 16 Ligue 1 goals last season.

He scored his first goal for the club in the weekend win against Guingamp.

Michy Batshuayi - Standard Liege to Marseille; 7 million euros (S$11.5 million)

The highly-rated Batshuayi signed a five-year contract with Marseille after setting the Belgian Pro League alight with Standard Liege last season, scoring 21 goals. The 20-year-old of Congolese origin, a reported target of boyhood club Arsenal before pledging his future to Marseille, linked up with new OM boss Marcelo Bielsa as the Argentine looks to lead the nine-time French champions back into contention for silverware.

Batshuayi, a regular at Under-21 level for Belgium, was called up to Marc Wilmots' provisional 30-man squad for the World Cup, and although he failed to make the final cut, Batshuayi very much remains one for the future.

Has made all his appearances so far for Marseille from the bench, with Andre-Pierre Gignac in front of him in the queue.

Romain Alessandrini - Rennes to Marseille; 5 million euros (S$8.2 million)

Former Marseille academy product Alessandrini finally got his wish as he returned to the Velodrome, a year after almost joining his hometown club.

A year ago, Rennes were reluctant to let him leave after the Brittany club helped nurse him back from a cruciate knee ligament injury suffered during the 2012/13 campaign.

Alessandrini, 25, scored 10 goals and laid on five assists and was called up to the France squad during his injury-truncated debut season in Ligue 1. And while he struggled to hit quite the same heights last campaign, a return of six goals and five assists was still enough to convince OM to prise him away from Rennes on a four-year deal.