A clutch of English clubs yesterday continued their preparations for the new Premier League season by re-signing existing players and bringing in reinforcements. Arsenal started the day by persuading striker Robin van Persie to remain at the Emirates Stadium. "Arsenal have a very bright future and I want to be part of it," said the Dutchman, who scored 20 goals last season.
Later in the day, Manchester United continued re-investing the money from Cristiano Ronaldo's sale to Real Madrid when they finalised - pending a medical - the £3million (Dh17.7m) transfer of Bordeaux's French under-21 starlet Gabriel Obertan. Having already snapped up Wigan's £16m midfielder Antonio Valencia and out-of-contract striker Michael Owen, the flying winger is Sir Alex Ferguson's third summer signing.
Elsewhere, promoted Birmingham completed a club record £8m signing of the powerful Ecuador striker Christian Benitez. "It is the right time for me to make this move and I will give everything to score as many goals as possible," said Benitez, 23. The Midlands club also snapped up the West Ham midfielder Lee Bowyer on a free. Meanwhile, Everton raided Hamburg for the highly rated German teenager Shkodran Mustafi.
The 17-year-old switches to Goodison Park on a three-year deal and is relishing the challenge of breaking into David Moyes's team. "This is a new chapter. I hope I have a good start, move through the reserves into the first team and get a chance to prove myself. I feel like I will get that chance here." @Email:firstname.lastname@example.org