x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Transfer talk: August 1 - Barcelona's Neymar hint, Toure talks City exit

The National's daily guide to the latest big name deals and moves taking place across world football during the summer transfer window.

Newcastle striker Demba Ba in action at St James' Park last year.
Newcastle striker Demba Ba in action at St James' Park last year.

Pro League contenders Al Dhafra have signed an incredible 14 new players as they look to strengthen for the forthcoming promotion play-offs against Sharjah, Emirates and Al Shaab. Read the full story here.

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Barcelona vice-president Jose Maria Bartomeu has dropped the strongest hint yet that the club will attempt to sign Brazil star Neymar this summer.

The 20-year-old is currently shining for Brazil at London 2012, scoring once against Egypt before playing a starring role against Belarus, in which he set up two goals and scored a breathtaking free-kick in-between.

His dazzling skills wowed all 66,212 spectators throughout the Group C match at Old Trafford, with the crowning glory coming when he bent a set-piece over the wall and past the sprawling Aleksandr Gutor.

The Santos player has been heavily tipped to make the move to Europe, and Bartomeu made no attempt to hide Barcelona's interest.

"Neymar? We would all like to see him joining after the Olympics. If he decides to come to Europe we'll try to make it Barca," he said.

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Newcastle United striker Demba Ba will not be leaving St James' Park on a cut-price deal after an escape clause in his contract expired yesterday.

The Senegal striker had a clause in his deal with the English Premier League club which would allow him to leave for £7.5m (Dh43.2m) if the deal was completed before July 31 - with the player entitled to half of the fee.

But despite interest from a number of European clubs over the summer, the deadline for the 27-year-old - who scored 16 goals in 34 league appearances at Newcastle - has now expired.

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Fortuna Dusseldorf have signed former Liverpool striker Andriy Voronin on a season-long loan from Dinamo Moscow.

The Bundesliga newcomers, who are preparing for their first season in the top flight in 15 years, completed a deal for the 33-year-old - reuniting him with Norbert Meier, the man who launched his career at Borussia Monchengladbach in 1997.

"Norbert Meier took me from the youth team to the professionals and I celebrated my Bundesliga debut under him," Voronin said.

"Therefore, the fact that Norbert is coach of Fortuna played a decisive role in my decision."I am delighted to be returning to the Bundesliga."

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West Ham have re-signed James Collins from Aston Villa for an undisclosed fee.

The Wales defender has agreed a four-year contract, three seasons after leaving Upton Park for the midlands.

"It's great to be back. Having been here before and coming back and seeing some of the same old faces is great," he told West Ham TV.

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Manchester City defender Kolo Toure admits to an uncertain future as he enters the final year of his contract with the English Premier League champions.

The 31-year-old has been linked with a move away from the Etihad Stadium, with Bursaspor one of the sides interested in the Ivory Coast stopper.

Toure confirmed he has spoken to the Turkish outfit, but remains committed to City.

"I did speak to the people there, but I'm just focusing on City. I'm a City player, I still enjoy it here, you can see that," he said.

"I love playing at the same club as my brother. But we will see what will happen. I've got one year left on my contract and that's it."

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Everton have re-signed former midfield favourite Steven Pienaar from Tottenham Hotspur for £4.5 million.

Pienaar left Goodison Park for Tottenham in January 2011 but failed to make an impression under then-boss Harry Redknapp, eventually spending the second half of last season back at Everton on loan.

It proved to be an inspired move, with Pienaar playing a key role as Everton finished seventh in the Barclays Premier League, and has now returned on a permanent four-year deal.

"There was no doubt in my mind that I would be back here," the South Africa winger said.

"At the end of the season I told the manager how I felt and I am happy now it is all done."

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Olympic goalscorer Craig Bellamy could make an emotional return to his hometown club after Cardiff City closed in on a deal to sign him from Liverpool.

The Welsh forward - who scored Great Britain's first Olympic men's football goal in 52 years - has been linked with a return to the club, where he was captain while on loan from Manchester City two seasons ago.

Liverpool are thought to be ready to strike a deal to get the 33-year-old, on a reported £80K a week wage, off their books.

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