Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Gulf owners bolster their European squads on transfer deadline day

Spanish side Getafe, for instance, signed Pedro Leon from Real Madrid on loan for the season.

The Gulf-owned European clubs, who have changed the landscape of football on the continent, were heavily involved in the hive of activity on the final day of the transfer window yesterday.

Getafe, the Spanish side who are owned by a Dubai-based company, pulled off something of a coup by signing Pedro Leon from Real Madrid on loan for the season.

Owned by Royal Emirates Group, who are chaired by Sheikh Butti bin Suhail Al Maktoum, Getafe negotiated an option to buy back the Spanish midfielder, 24, they sold to Real last summer.

Leon, who signed a six-year deal after joining Real in a 10 million (Dh53m) transfer, was told by Jose Mourinho he did not fit into the Portuguese coach's plans. Reports put the buyout option at 6m.

Fellow Spanish club Racing Santander, who are bankrolled by Ahsan Ali Syed, the Bahrain-based entrepreneur, signed Greece midfielder Alexandros Tziolis, 26, on loan from Siena.

Boosted by the substantial investment since a takeover by the Qatar Investment Authority, Paris Saint-Germain, the French club, continued their spending spree by signing Diego Lugano from Fenerbahce on a three-year contract.

The Uruguay captain will bolster a squad that has been fortified by the arrival of 80m worth of talent in Javier Pastore, Jeremy Menez and Kevin Gameiro.

Manchester City, who were purchased by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed in 2008, sought to trim their spiralling wage bill yesterday by allowing Craig Bellamy to join Liverpool and John Guidetti, the Sweden Under 21 international, to move to Feyenoord on loan deals for the rest of the season.

Shaun Wright-Phillips, the England winger, signed for Queens Park Rangers after failing to earn a first-team spot a City.

However, City did ensure they have cover for Yaya Toure during next year's African Cup of Nations by signing Owen Hargreaves on a free transfer.

* Compiled by The National staff with agency

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Faisal Al Ketbi, standing, has been the poster boy for the upcoming Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship. Courtesy of Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship

Faisal Al Ketbi is in spotlight for world jiu-jitsu championships at Abu Dhabi

Faisal Al Ketbi is the poster boy for UAE jiu-jitsu, with his picture prominent in the billboards and advertisements for this week’s Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Championship.

 Broadcast crews have been working to adjust UAE's cricket stadiums, such as Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi, for the IPL, such as installing the cables for cameras. The opening match between Mumbai Indians vs Kolkata Knight Riders is April 16, 2014 at at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Pawan Singh / The National

IPL turns UAE into cricket’s world stage

The Indian Premier League’s UAE schedule will be a television production emanating in the Middle East, choreographed from Singapore and involving a Belgian who happily admits to being a cricket novice.

 Lalit Modi during the 2010 Indian Premier League T20 Final between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings played at DY Patil Stadium on April 25, 2010 in Navi Mumbai, India. Ritam Banerjee / Getty Images

IPL’s best moments: April 25, 2010 - Modi’s final farewell

Lalit Modi, the league’s first commissioner, knew his days were numbered when he made a closing speech ahead of the 2010 tournament finale.

 Abdelaziz Haikal, left, avoids getting tackled, but his Al Ahli side were forced to a goalless draw at home to Al Hilal, from Saudi Arabia. Al Ittihad

Al Ahli miss huge opportunity to progress in ACL

Dubai side forced to a goalless draw at home to Al Hilal. Ahmed Rizvi reports.

 Godolphin is hoping to get a clear picture of  Ihtimal at Newmarket. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

Godolphin to get a good look at Ihtimal’s form at Newmarket

The true abilities of Godolphin’s Ihtimal will be brought more into focus on Wednesday after a trio of fillies turn out at the headquarters of British racing for trainer Charlie Appleby.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National