x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Transfer deadline round-up: Anzhi close on Willian, Arsenal sign Monreal

Arsene Wenger strengthens his defence with a late move, Celtic land an international goalkeeper and Inter Milan and Fulham make triple deadline-day signings - but Peter Odemwingie fails to force a move to QPR.

England and Team GB goalkeeper Jack Butland has joined Stoke City.
England and Team GB goalkeeper Jack Butland has joined Stoke City.

Anzhi could steal the transfer window headlines after it emerged they are on the verge of signing Willian from Shakhtar Donetsk for EU35m (D175.7m).

The in-demand Brazilian midfielder, a transfer target for both Chelsea and Tottenham, is reported to have left Shakhtar already ahead of a medical with the big-spending Russian side.

"There is a club willing to pay the release clause in his contract and Willian agreed to move. There is nothing I can do," Mircea Lucescu, the Shakhtar manager, told ESPN.

"To tell you frankly, I tried to convince him to stay because I think his decision is hasty and not thought out well enough. He is like a son to me."

Russian newspaper Sport Express reports the 24-year-old is to sign a four-year deal with the Dagestan side, where he would link up with Samuel Eto'o.

Willian started his professional career in 2005 at Corinthians before moving to Shakhtar in August 2007.

He scored 31 goals in 202 matches for the Ukrainian side, and was called up to Brazil's national side.

Anzhi are currently second in the Russian Premier League with 41 points from 19 matches, two points behind leaders CSKA Moscow. The Russian league resumes on March 9 after the winter break.

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Arsene Wenger beat the transfer window last night with a late deal for Malaga defender Nacho Monreal.

The 26-year-old Spain international signed for Arsenal on a long-term deal following Kieran Gibbs' thigh injury during the 2-2 draw with Liverpool.

Arsenal confirmed the deal as the transfer window closed, paying an undisclosed fee - reported to be in the region of £10m (Dh58.2m).

"We have been monitoring him for some time now and are really pleased that we've been able to agree this move," Wenger said afterwards.

"Monreal is a strong left-sided defender with good experience at both club and international level. He is a technically gifted player, a good crosser in the final third and strong in the air.

"He will add quality to our squad and of course, to our defensive unit. We all look forward to him playing for us."

Monreal, a former Osasuna academy graduate, signed for Malaga for £6 million in 2011 after making an impression with his hometown club, for whom he made 127 appearances.

He made his debut for Spain in a 2009 friendly against Macedonia and has gone on to win nine caps for the national side.

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Peter Odemwingie has been criticised by West Bromwich Albion's management after his controversial attempt to force a deal with Queens Park Rangers last night.

The 31-year-old had been a transfer target for Harry Redknapp throughout the January transfer window, and had expressed his unhappiness at not being allowed to leave.

He drove to London last night and addressed media about a move to QPR, indicating a deal was on the table - but West Brom quickly released a statement insisting the player was there without permission. QPR later confirmed West Brom's claim, and said they had not allowed Odemwingie into Loftus Road.

"Albion can confirm that no agreement was reached with QPR over the transfer of Peter Odemwingie before the closure of the January window and that the striker remains under contract at The Hawthorns," the club said in a statement after the matter came to light.

"The club were extremely disappointed to witness TV footage of Odemwingie arriving at Loftus Road on Thursday evening despite further talks between the two Premier League sides proving fruitless. Odemwingie was also never given permission to speak to QPR about a potential move."

Chairman Jeremy Peace added that the matter had become a point of principle and warned Odemwingie that he had to get his head around seeing out the last 18 months of his contract at the Hawthorns.

"The evening's developments have brought a conclusion to what has been an unsavoury affair," he said.

"Peter has acted wholly unprofessionally. He must now accept the fact he remains under contract for a further 18 months and has to focus on his Albion commitments."

Redknapp said he had sympathy with the player, adding "I think he probably felt that the deal had been agreed between the clubs and it hadn't and it was all a mix-up really.

"I feel sorry for the lad and the way the whole thing's turned out. It wasn't any of our doing. I think he was maybe advised that he should turn up here and that the club had made an offer and the offer had been accepted. The wires got crossed somewhere."

QPR confirmed the late signings of Andros Townsend on loan and Jermaine Jenas on an 18-month contract from Tottenham Hotspur.

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Jack Butland, the England international goalkeeper, is to join Stoke from Birmingham.

The Premier League side have agreed a deal for the 19-year-old, with the keeper set to stay at Birmingham on loan until the end of the season.

Butland had earlier rejected talks with Chelsea because of his desire to play regular first-team football and had also been linked with Liverpool, Fulham, Newcastle and Manchester City in this window.

Butland joined the Birmingham academy aged 14 and made his first-team breakthrough this season following a successful loan at Cheltenham.

His rise through the ranks also saw him become England's youngest ever goalkeeper when he won his first senior cap in a friendly against Italy last August.  He was also in goal at the London 2012 Olympics for Team GB, playing against the UAE in their under-23 match.

Both Everton and Southampton tried to sign the talented teenager last summer after he was called up to the England squad for Euro 2012 after third-choice goalkeeper John Ruddy broke his finger.

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Celtic moved to strengthen their squad with the late signing of Viktor Noring from Trellborgs.

The Swedish international goalkeeper, who had trained with Neil Lennon's side earlier this week, agreed a deal with the Scottish champions to join until the end of the season.

The 21-year-old will provide backup to Fraser Forster and Lukasz Zaluska following the departure of Lubos Kamenar.

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Magaye Gueye has joined Ligue 1 club Brest on loan from Everton until the end of the season.

The 22-year-old, a former France Under-21 international, has made just six appearances for the English Premier League side this season.

Brest are currently only four points above the Ligue 1 relegation zone.

Meanwhile Everton completed the late signing of teenage defender John Stones from Barnsley on a five-and-a-half-year deal.

The 18-year-old right-back passed a medical, agreed personal terms and penned his contract after the clubs agreed an undisclosed fee.

The 6ft 2in England Under-19 international has made 28 appearances for the Championship club.

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Ajax have confirmed the signing of Isaac Cuenca on loan from Barcelona for the rest of the season.

The 21-year-old forward, who made 16 appearances for the Catalan club last term, has just resumed training after eight months on the sidelines with a knee injury.

Cuenca, a former Spain Under-21 and Under-23 international, told Catalunya Radio: "If I had stayed at Barca, I would only have played league games at the end, after everything had been decided.

"I leave to get playing time, and to test myself, after having been injured for such a long time."

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Alou Diarra has joined Ligue 1 side Rennes on loan from West Ham until the end of the season after struggling to settle in the English Premier League.

The 31-year-old, who arrived at Upton Park from Marseille last summer, had criciticed Sam Allardyce for his lack of first-team involvement earlier this week, saying: "I have a three-year contract. I'm not unhappy financially, but I came to play, not to take an early retirement."

The departure comes shortly after Aston Villa defender Stephen Warnock revealed he had turned down the Hammers in favour of a move to Leeds, saying that the Yorkshire club had made him feel "wanted".

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Rayo Vallecano have re-signed striker Raul Tamudo on a deal running to the end of the season.

The 35-year-old left Vallecas for Mexican outfit Pachuca in June but was released after failing to score in nine league appearances.

Tamudo scored nine goals in 32 league appearances for Rayo in the 2011/12 season and is best known for his 12-year spell with Espanyol, for whom he netted 129 goals.

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Liverpool have confirmed Alexander Doni has left the club to join Brazilian side Botafogo.

The goalkeeper joined the Premier League side from Roma in 2011 but made just four first-team appearances, his most recent coming on the last day of last season at Swansea.

The 33-year-old Brazilian did not feature in the current campaign and slipped further out of the picture when Brad Jones was favoured as a replacement for the injured Jose Reina.

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Inter Milan have bolstered their midfield with the triple signing of Zdravko Kuzmanovic, Ezequiel Schelotto and Mateo Kovacic.

Kuzmanovic scored 17 goals in 96 Bundesliga appearances before leaving Stuttgart for the San Siro, while Schelotto and Kovacic arrive from Atalanta and Dinamo Zagreb respectively.

Serbian midfielder Kuzmanovic, 25, joins Inter having previously spent two and a half years with Fiorentina, an inconsistent spell that preceded a 10 million euro move to Germany in 2009.

Inter were keen to strengthen their attacking midfield options after selling Philippe Coutinho to Liverpool after Wesley Sneijder's high-profile move to Galatasaray.

Buenos Aires-born Schelotto has swapped Serie A clubs by leaving Atalanta for Inter in an undisclosed arrangement.

"I want to say goodbye to Atalanta, the team, the fans, the coach, everyone who always believed in me," the 23-year-old said.

"But I'm glad I've joined Inter, the biggest club in the world. I hope to be able to give my very best for this team.

"I'm thrilled to be here and I've been welcomed with open arms."

Croatian playmaker Kovacic, who has drawn comparisons to Luka Modric, said: "When I was still a boy, Inter were winning lots of trophies."

The 18-year-old added: "They're one of the biggest clubs in Europe and Italy. I'm happy I've joined a team like this and I hope to stay here for a long time."

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Velez Sarsfield have agreed a deal to sign Argentina international Fernando Gago on a six-month loan from Valencia.

The 26-year-old midfielder joined Valencia last summer from Real Madrid, whom he joined in 2007 from Boca Juniors in a EU20m deal.

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Manchester City have announced the signing of Ghanaian striker Godsway Donyoh from his country's Right to Dream Academy.

The 18-year-old has immediately been loaned out to Swedish side Djurgarden for the rest of the year.

Djurgarden manager Magnus Pehrsson said: "The combination that Donyoh is a talented player who fits into our style of play, and that Manchester City believes in him, makes him an interesting addition to our squad."

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Mathieu Bodmer has moved on loan from Paris Saint Germain to fellow Ligue 1 side St Etienne until the end of the season.

The 30-year-old has made just four league appearances for PSG in an injury-hit campaign.

He made his name at Lille and then spent three years at Saint-Etienne's bitter rivals Lyon, winning a league and cup double in 2008, before joining PSG in 2010.

Bodmer is the third PSG midfielder to be loaned out on the same day that David Beckham joined the capital club on a deal until the end of the season.

Youngster Adrien Rabiot was allowed to join Toulouse, while Malian international Mohamed Sissoko moved to Fiorentina.

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Fulham have signed three new players on loan in a bid to improve their faltering season.

Urby Emanuelson has move from AC Milan and Stanislav Manolev joins from PSV Eindhoven, while Eyong Enoh agreed a move to the English Premier League side from Ajax just 20 minutes before the window closed.

The move for the Cameroon international midfielder was confirmed by the Dutch club on their official website, with Ajax saying he had signed with the option of a permanent deal.

The 26-year-old joined Ajax in 2008 after a successful spell with South African club Ajax Cape Town. Prior to that, he started his career with Turkish-Cypriot club Magusa TG SK.

Manolev, a 29-cap Bulgaria international, joins on loan with the option of staying for two years at the end of the season.

Jol has managed Emanuelson in the past, with the pair working together at Ajax, and the Fulham manager said: "It's not easy to get players from AC Milan on a permanent basis.

"I coached him at Ajax. He is a skilful player, very agile. He is very mobile, quick. He can play left midfield, wide, play number 10 so I feel we need fresh legs."

Pajtim Kasami's move from Fulham to Pescara may have collapsed due to a technical problem, however.

The Switzerland Under-21 international tweeted "why is everything going against me" with his agent later being reported as telling Sky Italia that the necessary paperwork may not have arrived on time.

"It's ridiculous that the internet connection has not been working correctly," Mino Raiola said.

"We completed all the documents before the deadline but we don't know if they arrived in time."

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Xisco has ended his unhappy four-and-a-half year stay at Newcastle after joining Cordoba.

The Spanish striker joined Newcastle from Deportivo La Coruna in 2008 in a deal worth in the region of £7 million.

He made only nine first team appearances and spent spells on loan at Rayo Vallecano and former club Deportivo as he fell further out of favour in the north-east.

The player had his contract terminated yesterday to allow the move to the Spanish second division side.

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Tottenham have confirmed Heurelho Gomes has joined German side Hoffenheim on loan until the end of the season.

The goalkeeper had fallen well down the pecking order at Tottenham in the last two years following the arrivals of Brad Friedel and Hugo Lloris.

The Brazilian had been keen to secure a move back to his homeland ahead of the 2014 World Cup, but the 31-year-old instead switched to Hoffenheim after the Bundesliga side made an approach in the last 24 hours.

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Simon Dawkins is determined to make the most of his second chance in the Premier League after joining Aston Villa on loan from Tottenham until the end of the season.

The 25-year-old winger has revived his career on loan with the San Jose Earthquakes over the last couple of seasons after suffering a career-threatening knee injury at Spurs five years ago.

Dawkins said: "I worked for two years to get over my injury and regain my fitness and now I'm really motivated to make the most of this opportunity at Villa.

"Tottenham have been great with me and the past two seasons with San Jose have really kick-started my career.

"I never lost my belief and everything I've been through has made me stronger mentally as a player and as a person.

"I'm really focused on what I need to do for the rest of this season and I'm looking forward to training with my new teammates ahead of a big game against Everton this weekend."

 

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