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Arsene Wenger continues to add pieces to his squad that looked to be full of holes just three days ago when Manchester United ripped them apart, 8-2. The latest move is Yossi Benayoun joining Arsenal on a one-year loan from Chelsea, giving the team more options in the attack. Benayoun has been linked to several clubs in the last month as it became clear that Chelsea had no interest in keeping him at Stamford Bridge.
The Israeli international will play in his country's upcoming Euro 2012 qualifiers then join his new club in North London. There were initially some work permit concerns, but the work permit proved to not be the slightest of issues so Benayoun will join the Gunners for a year.
With the 31-year-old's ability to play out on the wing and spark the attack, it could be the end of Andrei Arshavin, whose recent performances have been downright dreadful. He also helps cover the departures of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri. While in no way as good as the departed players, he is a quality player who can give the Gunners good play in the midfield, where they need help because of their stars departures.
Benayoun is the only move that Arsenal have made on the final day of the transfer window. The only other things that the Gunners have done is confirm the transfers of Per Mertesacker and Andre Santos, both of which were sorted out on Tuesday. There are still rumors that the club are trying to work out a deal for Everton's Mikel Arteta with Arteta certainly keen on the move as the Spaniard looks to make a move to the Emirates, but time is running out.
AS Roma have made a major transfer deadline day move, agreeing with Real Madrid on a loan deal that would see Fernando Gago move to the Italian capital for the upcoming season. The Argentine has been stuck on the bench at the Bernabeu, but he is hardly the first quality player to get stuck on the Madrid bench. A defensive midfielder with no issues putting a tackle in while also possessing a good range of passing from deep in the field, Gago will be an immediate boost to Roma.
Gago has found it difficult to get on the field at the Bernabeu. He was signed from Boca Juniors and got playing time from the start. His playing time decreased a bit though until Jose Mourinho arrived last year though when he was completely pushed aside. He played just seven times last season and then Madrid brought in Nuri Sahin, sealing Gago's fate.
At the moment, Simone Perrotta and Fabio Simplicio are the first choice central midfielders for Roma, but both are aging. Whether because of need to rest the two or the likelihood of the two older players to be injured, Roma could use another quality midfielder and they have one in Gago. Some may have forgotten just how good Gago is because it has been so long since he played regularly, but he's a 25-year-old who was playing more than 40 times per season for Madrid not too long ago. It's tough to see this move as anything except tremendous for Roma.
In one of the weirder moves of the 2011 transfer market, Villarreal signed Ikechukew Uche from Real Zaragoza today, only to loan him to Granada literally minutes later. Uche signed a four year contract with Villarreal before being shipped off to Granada, according to a report from the BBC.
"I thank everyone involved in the move, I wish Real Zaragoza, the loving and exciting fans, as well as my former teammates all the best," the 27 year-old Nigerian told a press conference. "The new phase in my career starts here now and I look forward to an exciting time in the colours of my new club."
Classy words from the exciting striker, though they don't really explain what actually went on between the three clubs involved in this deal. Reports indicate that there was some talk before the deal between the three teams, so it is likely that this was a pre-arranged move, rather than an impulsive one from Villarreal as was originally reported.
Uche is a dangerous forward with lots of pace who has the ability to take defenders on off the dribble, and make lightning-quick penetrating runs into space. He'll be an important reinforcement for this recently-promoted Granada squad, who will be locked in a relegation battle all year.
Yesteday, Adriano Galliani insisted that AC Milan were done with the mercato -- no more players in, no more players out. Turns out he was lying, or possibly just stretching the truth a little, because apparently the scudetto holders have signed Antonio Nocerino from Palermo to a five year deal.
The sometimes Italian international (Nocerino has been called up for the next round of Euro qualifiers in September) has been with Palermo for the past three seasons. However, with one year remaining on his contract, and no desire to sign an extension, it was clear the midfielder would be off soon. Up in Milan, Mathieu Flamini injured his knee in a preseason match against Juventus, and the resulting surgery means he will miss about six months of the season. A match made in heaven, then, as want-away Nocerino gets lucky and dons the rossoneri kit.
The transfer window is now shut in Italy -- clubs can sell players, but are unable to buy.
After losing Samuel Eto'o to Russian side Anzhi, it was clear Inter Milan needed to add a few attacking options to make up for the loss of a forward capable of scoring thirty goals a season. Realizing they couldn't make up for the loss of Eto'o with just one player, the nerazzurri have decided to cobble together bits and pieces to find the goals necessary to challenge AC Milan for the title. First they brought in Diego Forlan from Atletico Madrid. Now they've signed Mauro Zarate on loan from Lazio, with a hope to make the Argentine a permanent fixture in the squad.
Zarate has been, shall we say, inconsistent for Lazio, but toward the end of last season, he seemed to be finding his rhythm, closing out the year with a brace against Lecce. Yet rumors persisted that Lazio were keen to find a new home for the attacker -- but will Inter be just another stop on Zarate's way to settling down?
Getafe have secured the services of former prodigy Real Madrid winger Pedro Leon on a season-long loan, and the move has now been confirmed by Madrid, who've announced it on their official site. The loan includes an option to but at the end and sees Pedro Leon's salary split down the middle, which is a pretty good deal for Getafe, especially when you consider that Madrid's first proposal was to insert a loan-to-buy clause at the end of it.
Pedro Leon is no Cristiano Ronaldo, but then again very few are. Instead, he's a perfectly serviceable winger with an emotional connection to the club, having excelled with them in the 2009/10 season. Following that year, where he scored eight times, he was bought by Madrid for €10M and proceeded to spend most of his time rotting on the bench, where he made only six appearances. Madrid, one would think, are happy to have playing time, Getafe have an upgrade and Pedro Leon gets to actually play football. Nice.
With Samuel Eto'o already scoring goals for his new Russian side Anzhi, it was clear that Inter Milan needed to find another striker, and fast. Where else to look but to a side that finished seventh in La Liga last season? Of course, that might have been due to the health of star player Diego Forlan, who only managed eight goals for Atletico Madrid last year. The year before, 18, and two years before, 32, which helped lead Atleti to the Europa League.
Obviously the nerazzurri are hoping for the Forlan of old, perhaps the Forlan that scored a brace in the Copa America final, allowing Uruguay to lift the tournament trophy. Then again, Forlan was leading the line with Luis Suarez -- will it be the same when he's paired with Giampaolo Pazzini? Inter will surely be crossing their fingers that Forlan can perform, because they need a bit of magic to even challenge AC Milan for the scudetto this season.
AS Roma have been gracious enough to bring to us a player whose name sets off an infinite amount of puns: Miralem Pjanic. The 21 year old Bosnian midfielder has signed from French side Lyon. You gotta wonder if this will just make Luis Enrique pjanic even more about how to regularly include Francesco Totti in his side. Oh yes, this Serie A season is going to be a long one.
Meanwhile, in names that are less fun to pun, Danish defender Simon Kjaer arrives on loan from Wolfsburg, although he shouldn't feel too out of place with i lupi. References to wolves aside, the young center back was a first team regular at Palermo before moving to the Bundesliga last summer.
Finally, despite rumors pulled from thin air that Fernando Gago was set to join Palermo, it seems Roma are still negotiating personal terms with Real Madrid for the midfielder. Besides Totti, will there be anyone from last season's Roma squad left when this window slams shut?
Arsenal have announced the signing of left back Andre Santos from Fenerbache on their official site with a lovely little picture gallery of the man himself looking rather cranky indeed. It's difficult to understand why he'd be upset at joining such a wonderfully storied franchise whose malaise appears to be more temporary than anything else, but it's his face, and he's making it crankly.
Anyway, Santos played 54 games for Fenerbache between 2009 and 2011, scoring ten goals in the process. He's a two-ways fullback, although just how good he is at attacking and defending largely depends on who you happen to be asking. Arsene Wenger praised (of course he did) his new man's quality, highlighting Santos' versatility, while the club revealed that the 28-year-old was be signed to a long-term contract and wear the number eleven jersey.
So, Arsenal get their left back. They've needed one with Gael Clichy sold to Manchester City and Kieran Gibbs having the fragility of a papier mache bath, but Santos may not prove to be a particularly good one, and one would guess that he cost a fair bit of money to bring in if he's just going to be a makeshift.
As expected, Tottenham Hotspur have acquired now-former West Ham United midfielder Scott Parker for an undisclosed fee with eight hours left before the end of the summer transfer window. Spurs announced the move on their official site, praising Parker's abilities and highlighting his status as Football Writers' Footballer of the Year:
We are delighted to announce that we have reached agreement with West Ham United for the permanent transfer of Scott Parker.
The England international's impressive displays for West Ham last season saw him named the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year.
The fee is undisclosed but believed to be in the region of £6M, which represents good business for each of Tottenham West Ham and Parker, who are all benefiting from the move. Spurs receive a talented midfielder who vastly strengthens their flagging centre, West Ham shed payroll they couldn't afford after relegation, and Parker gets to play top level football again. Everyone's a winner!
After many hours of speculation, out-of-favour England international/talentless fraud [delete as appropriate] Joe Cole turns out to be heading for France, which is at least a novel approach to finding oneself without any playing time in the Premier League. The midfielder is actually heading to Ligue 1 champions Lille, who are taking him off Liverpool's hands on a season-long loan signing, with both clubs now confirming the deal.
This is being lauded as a brave move for Cole, because so few English footballers succeed overseas and the'll have to deal with a culture shift etc, but that's kind of silly when you look at all of the foreign players coming into the Premier League, who never get lauded for their bravery in having deal with England. If not brave, this is interesting, and I suspect most are curious to see just how Cole does in his new surroundings. It's probably a little bit late on to tap into that undeveloped talent of his, but you never know.
Former Chelsea man Shaun Wright-Phillips is set for his second move away from Manchester City to join recently-promoted Queens Park Rangers, according to those fun-loving and feisty Sky Sports News sources, who are also claiming that QPR had to beat out the dread forces of Bolton Wanderers to acquire the diminutive winger. It's not the most exciting move, for those who aren't that interested in Roberto Mancini's cast-offs, but it'll probably help Rangers stay in the league.
Due to his high-profile flop at Stamford Bridge and his indifferent performances in an England shirt, Wright-Phillips' early form, when he burst onto the scene as a young goalscoring winger with City tends to be forgotten. It's doubtful that the 29-year-old will regain the form of yesteryear, but he doesn't have to to be worth a flier for a team that needs help, and QPR, like every club up from the Championship, need help.
Owen Hargreaves is just going to move across Manchester as he tries to get fit and make his comeback in professional football. The midfielder has agreed to terms on a one-year deal with Manchester City that is heavily incentive based. The deal was finalized on Tuesday, but Hargreaves had to pass his medical to finalize the deal, which he did on Wednesday morning.
It was only a few years ago when Hargreaves was considered one of the top midfielders in the world. He starred at Bayern Munich and then moved to Manchester United, where he continued his fine play until suffering an injury. Then he suffered another injury and another one. Every time that Hargreaves tried to get back to fitness he would suffer some sort of setback. His contract with Manchester United ended after last season and he was free to go anywhere, but every club was wary considering he hasn't played 90 minutes in a competitive match in almost two years.
Now that Hargreaves is going to City there won't be any pressure for him to play immediately at all. The team has more than enough players to handle playing without him and anything they get from Hargreaves is just a bonus. If he can get healthy then he's a boost to the team, as he would be to any team he joined, but they hardly need him. It's a situation without pressure, but eyes will still be on him as fans long to see him fit and at top form again because it is just lovely to watch when he's at his best.
The sordid tale of 19-year-old American Gale Agbossoumonde took another interesting turn on Tuesday when he was apparently loaned out to 2. Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt. Agbossoumonde's contract is still owned by Brazilian agency Traffic Sports. Since signing a 3.5-year deal in 2009, Boss, as he's commonly known, has played for in various leagues around the world, never for very long.
Among his stops have been Miami FC, then of USSF Division 2; Sporting Braga, a Portuguese team where he never made a league appearance; and, most recently, with Swedish side Djurgården. There had been rumors that Bundesliga side FC Koln had been interested in purchasing his rights, but nothing has since materialized.
A move to the Germany's second division could be a positive for Boss. Many consider him to be one of the more physically gifted players in the United States' player pool, and he has already made one senior team appearance. Assuming the rumors are true, Eintracht could offer him his first chance at extended playing time.
After a spectacular 2009-10 season in which he scored eight league goals from the wing for Getafe, Pedro Leon moved across town to Real Madrid, netting himself and Getafe a good chunk of change. Unfortunately (and predictably), Leon found opportunities for playing time to be extremely few and far between, as he appeared just six times in La Liga last season. Jose Mourinho and Florentino Perez seem ready to call the Leon experiment a failure already, and he will be loaned out to Getafe this season, according to AS and Marca.
The reports state that Getafe will have an obligation to buy Leon at the end of the loan period for €6 million. Seeing as they were paid €10 millon for him just a year ago, they managed to not get relegated, and Real Madrid will be paying part of his wages this season, Getafe made out like bandits in this deal. However, even with the addition of Leon, Getafe have a fairly weak squad and will struggle to challenge for a European place.
Uruguay centre back Sebastian Coates has finally been confirmed as a Liverpool player after being approved for a work permit by UK authorities, allowing the 20-year-old to complete a move from Nacional. Coates was outstanding at this summer's Copa America, forming a formidable defensive partnership with veteran Diego Lugano, and Liverpool fans are understandably extremely happy with the deal, which had been on hold for some time thanks to the work permit process.
Although the Reds haven't disclosed the terms of the contract (apart from saying that the deal is a long-term one) or the transfer fee, Coates is widely believed to have cost around 6M, a bargain for a prospect of his calibre. It's unclear where or not Liverpool's newest player will start in the Premier League straight away, but he promises to be a feature of that back line for many years to come. Why Arsene Wenger and Arsenal didn't join the hunt for Coates is anyone's guess.
FC Barcelona center midfielder Alexander Hleb looks set to join Bundesliga side Wolfsburg, according to an AP report. The 30 year-old Hleb has a contract with the blaugrana until 2012, but he is currently stuck behind the likes of starters Xavi, Iniesta, Pedro, Lionel Messi, and benchwarmers Cesc Fábregas, Alexis Sánchez, and Thiago Alcántara (among others).
Needless to say, the deal which "could happen today," according to Wolfsburg coach Felix Magath, would be a win for all parties involved: the poor Bielorussian won't have to spend his prime wasting away on the bench, Barcelona won't have to pay his salary, and Wolfsburg will acquire a serviceable central midfielder to replace recently loaned-out Diego. Win-win-win.
While the terms of the deal have not yet been solidified, it seems like a no-brainer if Wolfsburg are really interested; if not, they could take the opportunity to throw out a super low-ball offer, and see if Barça will take the bait (which is something they should probably do anyways). If everything runs smoothly, we will have the pleasure of once again seeing Alexander Hleb play football on a real pitch in a real match.
Rumours of Costa Rican forward Bryan Ruiz joining Fulham to link up with Martin Jol are getting stronger and stronger, with Sky Sports now reporting that a fee has been agreed with FC Twente for the prolific goalscorer.
Ruiz, 26, has been excellent in his spell with Twente, scoring 39 times in 61 matches, and he also has almost 50 international caps for Costa Rica. His track record of scoring goals means that 11M was about the cheapest that he was going to go for, but Ruiz is also a very well-rounded player who can play almost anywhere on the forward line, coming in off the wings or holding off play as well as being a lethal finisher. Fulham fans are going to be very pleased with their new forward, one suspects.
Crazy news out of Sunderland, who are apparently attempting to solve their goal-scoring problem by a) acquiring Tottenham Hotspur forward and b) selling Asamoah Gyan at a loss to a Turkish club, which makes zero sense because Gyan is a better goalscorer than Crouch.
Sunderland offer £10m for Peter Crouch as record signing Asamoah Gyan heads for the exit. #safc #thfc http://t.co/L0fqkACless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet ReplyDuncan Castles
Sunderland asking for bank guarantees before selling Gyan to Galatasaray or Trabzonspor at loss. Cost €15m, going for €6m + variables. #safcless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet ReplyDuncan Castles
Sunderland fans will be forgiven at being slightly confused at those reports, because they seem, frankly, bizarre. Crouch isn't an upgrade on Gyan, but Steve Bruce would be willing to pay 5M to go from the Ghanaian to the Englishman? Either Gyan has really irritated someone or something's getting misreported somewhere, because this just doesn't make very much sense.
It looks like good news for Arsenal's defence. The Gunner were in some need of a hulking centre half, and, well, now they've all but got one, with Werder Bremen confirming that an agreement has been reached with the Premier League club for their captain:
Werder Bremen's general manager Klaus Allofs confirmed that the club has reached an agreement about the Mertesacker transfer with Arsenal.less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Replydan_bu
At six foot six inches, Martesacker stands at three Andrei Arshavins tall and will add a much-needed physical presence to what has recently been a worryingly frail Arsenal
back line team. It's unclear just how much he's been bought for or what sort of wages Arsenal will be paying the German international, but considering the club is swimming in money and desperately needed defensive help, this is probably a pretty good buy.
Atlético Madrid have agreed to terms with German side Wolfsburg to acquire Brazilian playmaker Diego on loan for the next season. Atlético directors Clemente Villaverde and José Luís Pérez Caminero flew to Wolfsburg yesterday to negotiate for the Brazilian, and will fly back to Madrid today with a one year loan deal. With this signing, Atleti will close their squad for the rest of the year.
A few years ago, Diego was one of the absolute pearls of the Bundesliga, scoring majestic goals in the mold of Kaká or Portugal's Deco; since then, his name has been bandied about every year, but nothing has come of the rumors. Incidentally, he's still a top-quality player with an incredible eye for the game and knack for making the right pass at the right time.
He'll slot into Atlético's starting center midfield spot, probably in the offensive trident of a 4-2-3-1, next to Mario Suárez and either Gabi or Tiago. The rojiblanco coach Gregorio Manzano is planning on playing with a single forward (Falcao), flanked by a trio of offensive midfielders. Diego should fit well into this system, though it might take him a few weeks to figure out how his teammates play (which is totally reasonable).
This signing only helps my theory that, despite recent results, Atleti will be a major force in Spain this year (not that that means anything--they've already lost the Liga by drawing 0-0 to Osasuna in the first game).
Newcastle United have officially confirmed the signing of Italian fullback Davide Santon from Inter Milan, signing the 20-year-old to a five year deal. Santon is highly regarded as a right back prospect, but he's also known for his versatility, and manager Alan Pardew has implied that he'll be fielded mostly as a left back in a Newcastle side hit by the departure of Jose Enrique to Liverpool:
We are delighted to bring to Davide to Newcastle. He is a quality left-back and an established international who also gives us flexibility in defence. Davide is a young lad and a great signing for us and I am sure he will adapt to the Premier League very quickly.
Santon has every chance of succeeding in England, and if he fulfills his potential he may not be at Newcastle for very long. For the sorts of figures that were being bandied around for the fullback, however - 5M according to most reports - the Magpies won't mind if he moves on one bit. There's a tidy profit in it for them along with the services of a very good player.
For the latest in Newcastle transfer news and rumours, visit Coming Home Newcastle.
Less than one year after making his move to Atletico Madrid from Corinthians, Brazilian international central midfielder Elias is on the move again, for about the same price he was purchased for. Sporting Clube de Portugal, better known to most of the English-speaking world as Sporting Lisbon, has picked him up to strengthen their midfield, according to reports out of Portugal.
Elias was fantastic with Corinthians in Brazil, but was fairly average during his half of a year at Atletico Madrid. Still, he's a fairly young player with a great track record, while Atletico Madrid are incredibly thin in the middle. The move is worth €8.8 million, which isn't really a win for anyone. Atletico sell a player at a thin position and don't make a profit on him, while Sporting spend a good deal of money on a player who has failed to impress in his time in Europe. Time will tell whether or not this works out well for either team.
Scott Parker has handed in a transfer request at West Ham United with rumours of a move to . The midfielder, who almost managed to lead his stricken team out of the relegation positions at the end of last year but ultimately failed, seeing the Hammers fall to 20th place, was never going to stay in the nPower Championship for very long - and loominghe's issued a statement to the fans discussing his motivation for leaving:
I have had a fantastic four years at West Ham United and will never forget all the support I have had from the fans and everyone associated with the club. The manager and board have tried hard to convince me to stay but at this stage in my career, I need to be playing in the Premier League, especially now that I am involved with England.
I hope the fans will understand and respect my decision and I wish the club every success in their fight for promotion this season.
Yeah, they probably will understand. Over to you then, Tottenham?
33 year-old David Trezeguet, who spent last season with recently-relegated la Liga side Hércules, has agreed to a contract with United Arab Emirates side Baniyas that will pay him €2 million per year. Trezeguet, who was instrumental in France's 1998 World Cup triumph, passed a medical examination in Abu Dhabi today, and put ink to paper on his new contract.
This news will come as a minor blow to Scottish side Celtic, who had entered into negotiations with the player and his representatives last week. According to sources, Celtic is in the market for a new center forward, and Trezeguet could have been a relatively low cost fix. They had also been linked to Portuguese side Maritimo's striker Baba Diawara, though their interest has cooled in the last few days.
After they received the news of Trezeguet's departure, Celtic signed the Sierra Leon-born striker Mohamed Bangura from AIK Stockholm for an undisclosed fee.
Somehow, over the course of two seasons, Davide Santon has gone from being one of the most highly touted teenagers in the world to out of Inter Milan's plans. The talented and versatile 20-year-old moved on loan to Cesena for the second half of last year's Serie A season, but now looks set to make a move away from Italy to the English Premier League, where he is now strongly linked to Newcastle United.
Yesterday, Santon's agent claimed that negotiations with Newcastle were ongoing and that Santon had turned down a move to AS Roma. Then, today, Sky Sports News claimed via twitter that a deal is done and that Santon will become a Newcastle player. There's nothing on either Inter Milan or Newcastle's official site confirming or denying the news, but we expect to have it soon.
Santon can play either right or left fullback and has extensive experience in Serie A and the UEFA Champions League, an impressive resume for a player of his age. If Newcastle bring him in at a reasonable price, it could be a serious transfer coup.
nPower Championship side Leicester City have been looking for an impact player to flash the cash at, and it seems as though they've settled on a target: Glasgow Rangers striker Nikica Jelavic, he of the 18 goals in 28 Scottish Premier League matches. Leicester, of course, are both in need of a striker and filthy rich, so they might as well bring in a legitimate talent, and Jelavic fits the bill.
However, Rangers aren't ready to give up on their classy forward, and the Foxes' £6.5M offer hasn't swayed them so far. Leicester are almost certainly going to come in with a better bid at some point in order to sort out their problems up front, and it'll be interesting to see how both teams handle this over the next couple of days. It's definitely something to keep one's eye on and could have a major impact on the battle for promotion to the Premier League
Based on his playing time over the last couple of years, the writing has been on the wall regarding the potential departure of Fernando Gago from Real Madrid. When Los Merengues signed Nuri Sahin from Borussia Dortmund in the offseason, it became abundantly clear that there was no place in the team for Gago. He's been linked to various English Premier League teams since then, but it appears that he's going to AS Roma on loan instead.
Based on the age of their players who can play a defensive midfield position and distribute from deep, Gago would be a good addition for Roma. Simone Perrotta and Fabio Simplicio are solid players, but both are on the wrong side of 30 and it seems unreasonable to depend on either of them to stay healthy and start every match over the course of the season. Luis Enrique has made a number of big moves this summer at Roma, and Gago would be another fantastic addition for the Giallorossi.
Michael Bradley's agent has confirmed that the United States National Team midfielder has completed a transfer to Serie A side Chievo Verona. Bradley's future has been uncertain ever since it became clear that Aston Villa was not interested in bringing him back. In the meantime, his contract holders, Moenchengladbach of Germany’s Bundesliga, had apparently moved on with other options, leaving Bradley without someplace he could receive regular playing time.
Bradley is one of the more high-profile Americans currently playing in Europe. In recent years, he's played in the EPL, Bundesliga and Holland's Eredevisie. He will be the first American to play in Serie A since Oguchi Onyewu joined AC Milan in 2009. Alexi Lalas is the only other American to play in Serie A during the modern era.
In Chievo, Bradley will be joining a team that has bounced around the Serie A table over the past decade. Over that time, they've finished as high as fourth (2005-06) and been relegated (following the 2006-07 season). In recent years, they've established themselves as more of a mid-table side, finishing 11th out of 20 teams in 2010-11.
The 24-year-old is due to be formally introduced on Wednesday and is expected to be eligible for Chievo's season opener on Sept. 10 against Novara. He is still awaiting his work permit, but that should be a mere formality.
Ron Waxman, Bradley's agent, said the player had received interest from all over Europe, including England, Spain, Germany and Russia.
Bolton Wanderers finally seem to be on the edge of giving up centre half Gary Cahill after a strong pursuit all summer from a number of teams, including Arsenal. Now it does look like the defender is on his way to north London- but to Tottenham Hotspur rather than to the Gunners.
Cahill is in the final year of his deal and the Trotters will not be keen on the idea of seeing the England international move away on a free transfer next summer, so they'll be hoping they can get a good deal from Spurs and cut bait. According to Sky Sports, Tottenham had initially offered a player plus cash deal involving Sebastian Bassong, but Bolton are demanding a cash only deal and will probably get it, with the teams currently embroiled in negotiations.
Cahill will be a good addition to a Tottenham team that's rather defensively challenged as of late, but it remains to be seen just how much they'll have to pay for the home-grown centre back. If it's below 10M, fantastic, but Bolton will doubtless want far more for one of their hottest properties.
After a much-hyped summer move in 2010, Joe Cole had a tough go at Liverpool last season. The versatile England international midfielder doesn't seem to be in Kenny Dalglish's plans for this season, leading to all kinds of speculation about a move to another club in the English Premier League. However, it now appears that Cole will be heading to Lille OSC in Ligue 1 on loan.
Lille lost Gervinho to Arsenal in this transfer window, but was able to retain their other young superstars on their front line, striker Moussa Sow and playmaking winger Eden Hazard...or at least they have for the time being. Though most would agree that Cole is a downgrade from Gervinho, a front like of Sow, Hazard and Cole would make a formidable combination up top for Lille. They have two wins, one draw and one loss from their first four league games and are expected to challenge for Champions League places once again.
Wigan Athletic have just completed a move for Albert Crusat, Almería's 29 year-old speedy winger. Crusat underwent a medical at the DW Stadium on Monday, and has literally just signed a two year contract (with a third year option) with Wigan.
Wigan are getting a very explosive, dynamic player, who's talented with both feet, and can take defenders on off the dribble with ease. More than that, though, Crusat is known for his blazing speed on the wing: he was one of the central fixtures in Almería's attack because of his ability to beat his defenders down the wing and either cut in or slice a cross behind the sprinting defenders.This is a great signing for Wigan, and while Crusat probably won't improve hugely at the age of 29, he already brings a lot to the table.
Almería, on the other hand, will look to bring up a youth player to fill his shoes. While it's disappointing to lose one of your top offensive options, it's no catastrophe as they have various youth players waiting to get a shot at Crusat's spot in the starting eleven.
Oh, and here's some very punny comedy: Wigan's official site announced the deal with this subtitle, "Latics in Crus Control." Get it? Eh? Get it?
Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham are both in for Inter Milan midfielder Sulley Muntari, who spent the last half of the 2010/11 season on loan to Sunderland but failed to impress enough to earn a permanent move. According to his agent, Claudio Mossio, Muntari wants a return to the Premier League - and London in particular.
Tottenham and Fulham are several of the Premier League teams that are interested in Muntari. But right now his destination is not unclear. The situation must be resolved as soon as possible because the transfer market ends tomorrow.
Muntari wants to play in the Premier League. He really likes that tournament and his family would be very happy in London.
With Tottenham apparently on the verge of buying Scott Parker and retaining Luka Modric, they'd have less need of the Ghanaian than Fulham would. That doesn't mean they aren't in the picture for him, of course, but if a team was going to win that particular auction, I'd put my money on the Cottagers.
Although the Luka Modric rumours are dying down for now, Tottenham Hotspur are still in the market for midfielders, and apparently they're on the verge of signing West Ham united midfielder Scott Parker, with a move to be confirmed imminently:
Parker, of course, is Harry Redknapp's favourite thing in the world: England international, hard-working, and with Premier League experience. The fact he has awesome hair assumedly doesn't hurt. Anyway, he'd be a good buy for Tottenham, who've been reduced to starting Jake Livermore and Niko Kranjcar in the centre this year - a Parker-Modric duo looks much more appealing. For £5.5M, this isn't bad value, either.
Arsenal are remaining active in the transfer window as the Gunners try desperately to improve the state of their squad. This time, it's a signing that's been in the works for a while, according to scuttlebutt - the club has officially announced the signing of South Korea captain Park Chu-Young from Monaco. The striker has said how delighted he is to join the club, because of course he did:
I am very honoured and I feel very happy to be at Arsenal. It is a dream to be here and I am really proud to be an Arsenal player. Now I just want to show how good I am and prove myself.
In my opinion this is a great club, now I have to show what I can do on the pitch. I will do my best, I will never give up, I will show heart, I will give everything and I hope [the fans] will support me.
Park is a good player and a good striker, having scored 25 goals in Ligue Un, but it remains unclear just how good a fit the 26-year-old is with Arsenal. Gunners fans will be hoping he can thrive in the Premier League, at least until he goes back to Korea on military service in 2013, but he's clearly not the answer to the problems that ail them. Perhaps they can buy a new physio?
Victor Ruíz, one of the stars of Spain’s Under-21 national team, has just inked a five-year contract with Valencia, sealing a move back to Spain from Italian side Napoli. If you don’t believe me because my information is coming from Marca.com (and trust me, I know how you’re feeling), then maybe this picture will convince you.
At 22 years old, Ruíz is considered by many to be one of the best young talents in the game right now, and should add important defensive reinforcement for los Ché. Upon his arrival, the exciting young winger said that he was "very excited to join Valencia," and hoped to bring "lots of joy" to all the fans. Valencia will officially present Ruíz next Thursday at the Mestalla.
While Napoli will be sad to see one of their best young players leave, it's nice (as a fan of Spanish soccer) to see such an exciting player come to Spain. As a fan of Napoli, though, I'm a bit crushed. Mixed emotions here on transfer day.
The summer transfer window is closing in just under two days and SB Nation has all of the news and rumors for you in one place
Neil Warnock has (supposedly) strengthened his squad by signing Armand Traore from Arsenal
For Arsenal fans hoping that their team will sign an experienced, international-quality central defender, today is your lucky day. Regardless of what you think of German international Per Mertesacker, he certainly fits the basic criteria for what Arsenal need to add to their squad and the Gunners are in negotiations with Werder Bremen for a transfer, according to the BBC and numerous other sources.
The 26-year-old Mertesacker is the captain of Werder Bremen and has previously expressed his desire to stay. The 6'6" giant of a defender has been capped 75 times for Germany and has been called into Joachim Löw's squad for Germany's upcoming Euro 2012 qualifiers.
Mertesacker is sure to be one of a dozen or so players linked to Arsenal in the coming days, as they look to replenish their depleted squad.
For more on the Santos signing as well as everything Arsenal as the transfer deadline nears, check out SB Nation's Arsenal blog, The Short Fuse.
Arsenal's first move in the run up to the transfer deadline is to fill their hole at left back with Andre Santos
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