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Manchester City have confirmed that they have signed Javi Garcia from Benfica on a four-year deal.
Yossi Benayoun has returned to former club West Ham on a season-long loan from Chelsea.
Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien has left Stamford Bridge on loan, which didn't come as much of a surprise. His destination does, however -- he's reuniting with former manage Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid, apparently to replace the departed Lassana Diarra, who's left for Anzhi Makhachkala.
The 29-year-old, who spent six seasons with the Blues, suffered a series of knee injuries that derailed his career and dramatically reduced his effectiveness, and it's far from clear whether he can still perform at the top level. But it's fascinating that Real Madrid, who have three world-class central midfielders, are willing to take a chance on the Ghanaian while Chelsea, who have zero, are not.
It's a bit of a strange one from both sides, but you have the sneaking suspicion that the Londoners could regret shipping him off just to save a few million pounds in wages. It's not the end most would have expected for the Bison at Chelsea -- before the injuries he was widely considered the Blues' top player and one of the most influential midfielders in the world. Now he's a backup backup man at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Aston Villa have completed the signing of Genk's Christian Benteke on a 4-year deal.
Queens Park Rangers continue to completely overhaul their squad this summer, and their most recent signing is 26-year-old Stephane M'Bia out of Marseille:
BREAKING: QPR announce the signing of Cameroon international Stephane Mbia from Marseille.— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) August 31, 2012
M'Bia, who normally plays in defensive midfield or at centre back, has apparently signed a two-year deal to keep him at Loftus Road through the close of the 2013/14 season. He joins the Marseille exodus, with the French club -- who are struggling for money at the moment -- also having lost Cesar Azpilicueta to Chelsea and seemingly on the verge of being divested of star striker Loic Remy on top of that.
Going the other way is... combative... midfielder Joe Barton, whose antics in the final game of last season have seen him rather unwelcome in English football. That's technically a loan deal, but you'd probably expect Barton to stay in Ligue 1 after the end of the year.
Clint Dempsey has signed a three-year deal with Tottenham Hotspur for a fee of £6m.
Another deal has been completed as Deadline Day gasps its final breaths. Matija Nastasić to Manchester City has been confirmed, surprising absolutely no one. The Serbian defender, just 19 years old, spent last season with Serie A side Fiorentina, where he notched 21 starts and 4 appearances from the bench. Surprisingly, the majority of these did not come under fellow Serb Siniša Mihajlović, the former coach at the Viola. In other words, Nastasic is actually good, and it's no surprise that Manchester City have spotted that.
Going the other way is Stefan Savic, a fellow defender who disappointed last season while in Manchester. It's no surprise that even what appears to be an out-of-shape Kolo Toure managed to beat Savić to the starting role. But the Viola got a pretty chunk of change out of this exchange, and considering Vincenzo Montella tends to operate on a "We'll just score one more than the other side" sort of philosophy, having a weaker centre-back probably won't do much harm to his side.
Clint Dempsey is now attempting to secure a move to Tottenham as the transfer window enters it's twilight hours.
Tottenham have signed Hugo Lloris from Lyon on a 4-year deal.
Liverpool's official TV station claims there will be no more signings from the Anfield club, killing the Clint Dempsey transfer.
Everton have confirmed the signing of Bryan Oviedo from FC Copenhagen.
Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo has confirmed that the club are in talks over a loan move for Michael Essien.
The Clint Dempsey transfer deadline day saga rolls on with this latest tidbit from Sky Sports News. Fulham have rejected Liverpool's big for the American midfielder. This is seriously turning in to the soccer version of "The Wheel of Time" today.
Sky Sources: Fulham reject bid from Liverpool for Clint Dempsey— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) August 31, 2012
Apparently, Fulham are not eager to sell or they are just trying to make Dempsey's life difficult over the final hours of the transfer window being open. Whatever the reason, Dempsey's future remains up in the air though there have been rumors that Tottenham are potentially interested along with another mystery third club (Arsenal?).
With less than four hours to go, we'll have to wait and see what happens but there's no doubt that American soccer fans are hanging on every update. Their concern is understandable with Dempsey having not seen first team action yet this season and World Cup qualifiers looming for the US Men's National Team.
Southampton have announced that they have signed Gaston Ramirez from Bologna for a club record fee.
Maurice Edu has completed his move to Stoke City, a week after agreeing to a deal with the club. The United States international had to get his visa approved and tie up the loose ends of the deal, but Edu himself said that the deal is now official.
Edu moves to Stoke from Rangers, where the club's bankruptcy sealed his exit. He agreed to take a severe wage cut during last season in exchange for a small buyout clause being attached to his contract. Stoke met that buyout and now he has his visa.
This signing is part of Stoke's continued efforts to strengthen their midfield. They have already signed fellow American Geoff Cameron to shore up their defensive midfield and Charlie Adam gives them a more attacking option. Now with Edu providing another defensive-minded midfielder, the Potters have depth in the middle that will aid them as they chase a top half Premier League finish.
Exactly how this affects the U.S. team is still up in the air. Cameron and Edu might be competing for one regular starting spot, meaning one of them might not be playing regularly. That isn't what Jurgen Klinsmann wants to see, but two more players in the Premier League isn't too shabby.
Nicklas Bendtner has joined defending Serie A champions Juventus on a loan with an aim to make it permanent as the Denmark international continues to search for a steady home. The former Arsenal striker spent last season on loan with Sunderland and Juventus will make it three clubs in three years for the supremely confident player.
Juventus has spent much of the summer searching for a striker. Initially, they set their sights on Robin van Persie, but he ended up at Manchester United. Once that dream died, they tried to make a move for the Red Devils' Dimitar Berbatov, but that didn't happen either so Bendtner will have to do.
Arsenal have long given up on Bendtner and didn't even seriously consider bringing him back after selling van Persie. The 24-year-old has spent much of the summer trying to find a new home and while it took until the final day of the transfer window, he's found one in Turin.
Bendtner spent last season on loan with Sunderland, where he scored eight goals. So to confirm, the defending Sere A champions and one of the biggest clubs in the world signed a Sunderland reject. Cool.
Arsenal are in negotiations with Chelsea to arrange a loan move for Blues midfielder Michael Essien, according to reports.
Tottenham have agreed a fee of €10m Euros plus €5m additions for Lyon goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, according to reports.
Because nothing can ever be easy with Berbatov, his search for a club was a wild one. After being given the go-ahead by Manchester United to find a new club, he went through Fiorentina and Juventus before deciding on Fulham. Of course, then there was doubt cast upon his move to Craven Cottage when Sir Alex Ferguson said that he wasn't sure if the deal would go through and that Tottenham Hotspur might be an option, but it's done and dusted now. Berbatov is a Cottager.
Berbatov will reunite with Martin Jol at Fulham. The pair worked wonderfully together at Tottenham and that player-manager relationship is important when it comes to Berbatov, who is not exactly the most motivated player or the easiest to get along with.
The 31-year-old striker saw his career somewhat stall at Old Trafford. Despite some marvelous matches and good strings of matches, he never quite fit in with the Red Devils and they always seemed eager to find better than them. Now he is out and to a club where he should be the star, which might rekindle his always-flickering fire.
Rafael van der Vaart is the newest member of Hamburg after passing a medical that finalizes his move from Tottenham Hotspur to the Bundesliga club. HSV already have a photo with him holding a Hamburg shirt.
Es ist offiziell! Herzlich willkommen zu Hause, Rafael van der Vaart! twitter.com/HSV/status/241…— Hamburger SV (@HSV) August 31, 2012
That roughly translates to: "It is official, welcome Rafael van der Vaart". Yes, we speak bad German too.
van der Vaart spent three years with Hamburg before moving to Real Madrid in 2008. Two years later he moved to Tottenham and now after two years in England he is on his way back to HSV, where he is still considered a legend.
Hamburg has been chasing van der Vaart all summer, but were put off by the price that Spurs chairman Daniel Levy was demanding. The transfer fee has not been made public, but reports suggest that it is between £10-12 million.
Recent purchases by Spurs made van der Vaart surplus at the club. Moussa Dembele and Gylfi Sigurdsson pushed him aside and if the rumored transfer of Joao Moutinho comes through then he would have really been without a home.
Now he is at Hamburg, where the 29-year-old is wanted and can help a team that really needs it. They are not all that dangerous in the attack and the Dutchman will give them a much-needed punch.
The transfer of Maicon from Inter Milan to Manchester City has been in the works for a few days now, but the Italian club have now confirmed that it is official. The Brazilian right-back, who's been at Inter since 2006, will back his bags and move north to Manchester.
This is a bit of an unusual move for Manchester City, but then again, most defensive signings aren't really very sexy. Maicon is a fairly well-known name, having been an integral part of the nerazzurri lineup for the past six seasons. Most importantly, he has Champions League experience.
On the other hand, Maicon, like many on Inter, is aging. Now 31, the Brazilian just hasn't looked quite right over the past year -- sad for a player who once was nominated for the Ballon d'Or. But it may just be all the recent changes at Inter, the managerial shifts, the decline in power to the point where they need to qualify not for Champions League play but for Europa.
It's almost certain that Maicon still has a bit of his old spark left in him. Now Roberto Mancini just needs to find how to coax that out.
Tottenham Hotspur have confirmed that their left winger/left back and Great Britain Olympic team member Danny Rose will be leaving White Hart Lane to spend the season on loan at Sunderland. The Black Cats shipped out Kieran Richardson earlier in the day and bring in a younger player who fills essentially the same role, as a versatile left-sided player who can play as either an attacking fullback or as a defensively sound winger.
Rose should start the year as a backup, but potentially as a key substitute for Sunderland. They're currently loaded with talent that can play on the wings, so Rose is more likely to see playing time at left back than he is at left wing. Tottenham have kept Kyle Naughton in their squad after he had a successful loan spell at Norwich City last season, meaning Tottenham have adequate cover for Benoit Assou-Ekotto and were willing to send Rose out on loan.
Manchester City have signed Scott Sinclair from Swansea as their replacement for Adam Johnson. The Citizens have been linked to a move for Sinclair for more than a week and it appeared as if the deal was done last week, but the deal got held up. Today, whatever barriers were there a week ago went away and CIty was able to get the winger for £6.2 million.
Sinclair gives City some wing depth, but it is a bit of a curious move if you just look at it on football terms. A former Chelsea player, Sinclair complained about his lack of playing time with the Blues and how happy he was at Swansea because above all else, he got to play regularly. Now he is leaving a good, comfortable situation at Swansea where he is beloved and they offered him a new contract to join a team where he will often find himself on the bench.
Of course, this is not just about football. There is the appeal of winning a trophy, but more than anything, you can bet City waved more money at him that Swansea could afford.
Minutes after sending Andy Carroll on loan to West Ham, Liverpool launched a bid to take Daniel Sturridge on loan from Chelsea. According to the BBC, the Reds began negotiating with the Blues on Thursday night, while Tottenham Hotspur have also shown interest.
Liverpool are desperate to add at last one striker before the transfer window closes. They have Luis Suarez and Fabio Borini, but after that it is a couple kids with limited or no top division experience so they need somebody like Sturridge.
Chelsea are happy to loan Sturridge out. They have a full compliment of wingers and while he could provide depth at center forward, he is unproven there so it is not as if the Blues need him. If another club comes in and can provide a godo situation for him, Chelsea will let him go.
Loans have been very popular at Liverpool of late. In addition to loaning out Carroll, they sent Jay Spearing on loan to Bolton, while Nuri Sahin has joined the Reds on loan from Real Madrid.
Good news for Fulham -- the Cottagers have completed the signing of Kieran Richardson from Sunderland. The versatile 27-year-old, who spent six seasons at the Stadium of Light after graduating from Manchester United's youth system, had just entered the final year of his contract and was hoping for a move south to London. He got it without much of a fuss, with Fulham paying an undisclosed (but presumably quite small) fee for his services and then signing him to a three-year contract.
Richardson, nominally a left winger, was finding it increasingly hard to get into the Sunderland side in his favoured position, having most recently been featured as a semi-regular left back. The ability to play multiple positions will serve him very well indeed at Fulham, who need reinforcements following Moussa Dembele's transfer to Tottenham Hotspur and the expected departure of Clint Dempsey before the transfer deadline closes. Richardson isn't in either player's class, of course, but he's a serviceable, cheap and altogether wise option.
Poor Aston Villa. They're the only team to have stumped up the money for American midfielder Clint Dempsey, and they've been unceremoniously rejected by him:
Dempsey is in the middle of throwing a major tantrum at Fulham, refusing to play until he gets a transfer to a bigger club. Apparently what he really meant was a transfer to Liverpool. The problem, of course, is that Liverpool don't necessarily have the money to persuade the Cottagers to sell. Villa do, but Dempsey doesn't want to go there. This is the worst love triangle ever.
Anyway, this is probably good news for Aston Villa's defenders. Sure, they wouldn't have to play against Dempsey in real matches, if they got him. But if 'Deuce' had joined up with Paul Lambert and company at Villa Park, they'd have had to train with him and his flying elbows. That's a recipe for mild concussion if I've ever seen one.
Charlie Adam has escaped his personal Anfield hell, departing Liverpool for the comfy confines of Stoke City and the Britannia Stadium. Adam, who spent the 2010/11 season captaining Blackpool before joining the Reds last summer for £6.8 million, never quite fit in at Liverpool, putting in a series of very poor performances before the ownership lost patience with him (and indeed their whole midfield), bringing in both Joe Allen and Real Madrid's Nuri Sahin.
That left no place for Adam, who was then placed on the market. We'd had rumours that he was taking a medical with the Potters, but Liverpool have now confirmed that they've agreed a transfer fee with Stoke, so we can pretty much mark this thing up as done. Adam's set piece delivery will be a real threat when combined with Tony Pulis' muscular style of football, and his tackling habits will surely make him earn Ryan Shawcross' undying friendship.
Clint Dempsey to Aston Villa? Don't be so sure. Although it's been widely reported Villa and Fulham have agreed a fee for the out-of-favour (and underpaid) USA international, Birmingham Mail reporter Matt Kendrick is reporting that Dempsey only has minimal interest in a move to Villa Park and has his heart set on a Liverpool move instead.
This might prove problematic for the 29-year-old, who's been agitating so hard for a move away from Craven Cottage following an excellent 2011/12 season that he appears to have burned most of his bridges there. If Liverpool don't go after him -- and indications are that they won't -- Dempsey suddenly becomes forced into a move that he might not want to make. It'd be very difficult for him to go back to Michael Jackson land after this.
But if he does end up in Birmingham, at least the American will be paid a lot more than he's getting at Fulham. And that's rather the point, right?
Looks like the reports from Bild have some substance after all. Rafael van der Vaart's agent has confirmed that the enigmatic Dutch midfielder is indeed heading to HSV:
Tottenham midfielder Rafael van der Vaart's agent confirms the player is on his way to Hamburg for a medical …— Guardian sport (@guardian_sport) August 31, 2012
The earlier rumour was that Hamburg and Tottenham Hotspur had agreed a €13 million deal for the 29-year-old, who played at the Imtech Arena between 2005 and 2008 before heading to Real Madrid on a big money deal that never quite worked out. If he passes the medical, there's still the matter of agreeing a contract, but with Spurs' wage structure being fairly reasonable as Premier League sides go, there shouldn't be that much of a problem in getting van der Vaart signed to a new deal.
It's a good bit of business for Tottenham, too -- they'll have earned £40 million between van der Vaart's departure and the sale of Luka Modric to Madrid.
Stoke City have confirmed that Charlie Adam is undergoing a medical with the club that will complete a permanent move from Liverpool. The move would strengthen a Potters midfield that the club has been trying to improve all summer.
Adam joined the Reds a year ago from Blackpool, but had a rough year at Anfield. When new manager Brendan Rodgers came in at didn't rate the Scot, it made a move away from Anfield likely and the summer purchase of Joe Allen and loan of Nuri Sahin sealed the deal. Adam had no place at Liverpool anymore.
Stoke recently brought in United States international Geoff Cameron to play in the midfield and he has shown well early on. They are also on the verge of completing a deal for another American, Maurice Edu. Both of the Americans playing deeper in the midfield, though.
Adam should fit in well at Stoke. He has a habit for making late and reckless challenges so a rugged club like Stoke makes sense. More importantly, he is more creative in the final third that almost anyone else on the team and can give the Potters the kind of attacking play that they could really use.
Everton continue to quietly restock their squad with shrewd buys. This time, they've raided FC Copenhagen, snatching Costa Rican Bryan Oviedo from the Danish side, who are probably hurting for cash after failing to make it to the Champions League group stages.
Oviedo, 22, has made 44 appearances in the Danish Superlig, and serves as a versatile left-sided player, capable of operating at both left midfield and left back. He's not going to set the world on fire (and he still needs to work out contract details and earn a work permit). Actually, according to his Wikipedia page, he might:
He is easily the best player the world has ever seen and has wowed many with his natural ability.
Japes aside, Oviedo's done well on a pretty good Saprissa side and broke into the Costa Rican national team while still very young. It's difficult to see this as anything but a very nice deal by David Moyes.
Dimitar Berbatov is heading to Fulham. OR IS HE! Sir Alex Ferguson has decided to throw an amusing little tidbit out to the press today, claiming that the Manchester United isn't guaranteed a move to Craven Cottage after all. No matter what Martin Jol might be saying.
SAF on Berbatov: "It wouldn't surprise me if he's at Tottenham. I don't think he's certain to go to Fulham, put it that way."— Steve Bartram (@stevebartram1) August 31, 2012
A move back to Tottenham Hotspur for the 31-year-old would be little short of incredible. Berbatov spent two seasons at White Hart Lane before securing a 30 million move to United in 2008, and he was incredible during his brief spell in London. His record for Spurs reads 46 goals in 108 games -- small wonder the fans would love him back.
They're not in desperate need of a striker now that Emmanuel Adebayor has rejoined the fold, but Berbatov would make a much more palatable backup option than Jermain Defoe, as well as an interesting change of pace should they need it up front. He'd also come pretty cheap. Expect this to get ugly...
Liverpool and Sunderland have been linked to Clint Dempsey for much of the last week, but apparently Aston Villa have also joined the action. According to the Mail, Fulham have accepted an offer from Villa for the United States international.
Aston Villa have had an offer of £7million accepted for Clint Dempsey. It's now up to Liverpool and Sunderland to match that if they want to get involved in the action.
The Mail is usually very, very dodgy, but they rarely provide as much detail as they have in this report. Actually being concrete enough to say that an offer has been accepted is much more than they usually provide when they make up stories so there is some chance that this one has legs.
Dempsey and Fulham are at odds as the player tries to force a transfer through, while the Cottagers hold firm on their valuation of him. Dempsey hasn't been at Fulham training or played in the club's first two matches as the situation sorts itself out. Today it will be sorted out, one way or the other.
Van der Vaart, 29, joined Tottenham from Real Madrid in 2010, featuring 78 times in all competitions and notching an impressive return of 28 goals, but despite his brilliant attacking play his defensive contribution was lackadaisical at best and his lack of fitness left former manager Harry Redknapp scratching his head a few times.
With Iceland midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson in from Hoffenheim and the signing of Moussa Dembele from Tottenham Hotspur, Spurs have the depth at midfield to let van der Vaart leave. Hamburg, where he made his name, is a great destination. They need quality and he's a known quantity in the Bundesliga. Whether or not he's a particularly efficient use of €13 million is another story entirely.
Liverpool brought in Nuri Sahin and Joe Allen to solidify their midfield and in the process, froze out Jay Spearing. But the Reds are not ready to give up on Spearing so instead of selling the 23-year-old, they have agreed to send him on a year-long loan to Bolton Wanderers.
Bolton are off to a bit of a shaky start in the Championship, winning one, drawing one and losing one in their first three matchs. Their problems in the central midfield are partly why they got relegated last year and the center of the pitch has continued to be a problem this year. Spearing should have the opportunity to win plenty of playing time and turn around a Bolton midfield that could use the help.
Theoretically, Stuart Holden will recover from injury and make his push to get back in the Bolton midfield before long, possibly squeezing Spearing out, but Holden has not proven to be the sturdiest of players. Because of that, Spearing should in very well at Bolton and give them a chance to get back in the Premier League.
It seems Uruguay international Gaston Ramirez has finally gotten his wish: to be free of Bologna and on to a club in England. The winger has been demanding a move away from the rossoblu for months, and Southampton has been in the mix for the past few weeks. Now, reports out of Italy suggest that the deal is all but complete, with only the signatures being needed on the contracts.
Former decent players from Italian clubs have had a tough time adjusting to the Premier League, however -- see Alberto Aquilani for a recent example. And with nearly everyone on the Saints' current roster being from England, let's hope Ramirez's English is up to snuff. Otherwise, he might be soon regretting this move of which he's been dreaming about for so long.
Fulham are on the verge of completing a £5 million transfer for Manchester City centre forward Dimitar Berbatov.
Maya Yoshida leaves VVV-Venlo in the Eredivisie for the Premier League and Southampton.
After weeks of rumors, Andy Carroll has officially joined West Ham on a season-long loan deal.
Swansea have signed Valencia's Pablo Hernandez, landing the Spanish winger for a fee of £5.5m.
Tottenham Hotspur have confirmed the capture of 25-year-old Belgian midfielder Moussa Dembele, announcing via Twitter that they've agreed a deal with Fulham and that Dembele is on his way to White Hart Lane:
We are delighted to announce that we have reached agreement with Fulham for the transfer of Mousa Dembele. More details to follow.— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) August 29, 2012
There appears to be some confusion over how many 's'es Moussa's name contains, but at any rate, this brings to a close what was, happily, a phenomenally short transfer saga. With Spurs suddenly finding themselves moneyed in the wake of selling Luka Modric to Real Madrid, they were happy to meet Fulham's price for Dembele, who would have been out of contract at the end of the season in order to reinforce their midfield.
As for Fulham, they're now flush with cash and may need to scramble fast for a replacement. Following a great start to the season that's seen them demolish Norwich City before a narrow, impressive loss at Old Trafford, the Cottagers will be looking for a midfield partner for Mahamadou Diarra, and it's not entirely clear that such a name is already on the squad.
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