x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Transfer talk: Glazers selling part of Man United stake; Chelsea loan Bertrand to Southampton

The Glazer family intend to sell off about five per cent of their stake in United, expecting a US$150 million (Dh550.9m) windfall from the deal, while Ryan Bertrand joins Southampton on loan.

Joel Glazer, right, and Avram Glazer, left, shown during Manchester United's initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange in 2012. Justin Lane / EPA / August 10, 2012
Joel Glazer, right, and Avram Glazer, left, shown during Manchester United's initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange in 2012. Justin Lane / EPA / August 10, 2012

Manchester United

The Glazer family will make around US$150 million (Dh550.9m) by selling part of its stake in Manchester United although the deal will leave the Americans firmly in control of the English Premier League club.

The Glazers, who bought United for £790m (Dh4.9 billion) in 2005, are selling 8 million of their shares in the club which amounts to a stake of about five per cent.

Once the shares are sold, the six children of the late Malcolm Glazer will still own more than 80 per cent of the club’s total shareholding.

None of the proceeds will go to the club itself, a fact that is likely to annoy some fans who have long campaigned against owners they accuse of burdening United with excess levels of debt following their takeover.

The sale of the shares would create a more liquid market for United stock after a flotation on the New York Stock Exchange two years ago.

The shares were listed at $14 and have risen to a price of $19.31 on Wednesday, valuing the club at almost $3.2 billion.

United, English champions a record 20 times, are seeking to rebound after a poor season in which they finished only seventh in the Premier League, missing out on a place in lucrative European club competition in the coming season.

Optimism has been fuelled by the arrival of new manager Louis van Gaal and the signing of a new sports equipment deal with Adidas worth a record £750m over 10 years. General Motors Co made a $559m seven-year sponsorship deal with the club for GM’s global mainstream auto brand, Chevrolet, to appear on team jerseys.

The Glazers also own the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Family patriarch Malcolm Glazer died earlier this year.

Southampton

Chelsea left-back Ryan Bertrand has agreed a season-long loan deal with Southampton, the south-coast English club confirmed on Wednesday.

Bertrand has been with Chelsea since 2006 but has found action hard to come by, spending last season on loan at Aston Villa.

“For me personally, this is another chance to play and a chance to join a fantastic club that’s moving in the right direction,” said Bertrand.

Southampton are believed to have the option to buy the 24-year-old English player outright next summer.

Manager Ronald Koeman added: “I’m very happy to be able to bring Ryan in. He is a top player who will bring a lot of quality to the team. He has experience at the highest level and is an exciting, attacking player, which is what I like to see in my full-backs.”

Southampton have seen a succession of players leave the Premier League club since they finished eighth last season.

Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Dejan Lovren have all moved to Liverpool, while Calum Chambers has joined Arsenal.

Bertrand is expected to fill in for Luke Shaw at left-back, following his move to Manchester United.

Sydney FC

Austria captain Marc Janko will play in Australia’s A-League next season after being announced as Sydney FC’s marquee international player for the new term on Thursday.

The 31-year-old striker replaces Italy and Juventus great Alessandro del Piero, who left the twice-champions at the end of last season after two years at the club.

Del Piero, who was on the most lucrative contract in Australian sports at A$2m (Dh6.8m) a year, generated a huge amount of publicity for the league.

He failed to help the team past beyond the first round of the play-offs, however, and Janko’s signing is an indication of a more practical approach by new coach Graham Arnold as he looks to win the club its first title since 2010.

Janko, who stands at 6ft 5ins (1.96m), is a proven goalscorer with a strike rate above one every two matches in his spells at Red Bull Salzburg in Austria, Dutch club Twente Enschede and FC Porto in Portugal.

He had less success at Trabzonspor in Turkey over the last two years but 17 goals in 40 appearances for his country – he scored the 17th in a pre-World Cup draw with Uruguay in March – are the sort of figures that will attract any coach.

Rennes

Belgian midfielder Christian Bruls has signed a three-year deal with Ligue 1 side Rennes, the French club announced on Wednesday.

The 25-year-old was loaned last season to another French club, Nice, from Gent in his native Belgium, scoring one goal in 34 Ligue 1 appearances.

“This is a player who is technically very comfortable and has a lot of heart. He is an all-rounder and nasty in a good way,” said Rennes coach Philippe Montanier.

It will be the sixth club for the midfielder who also played from Belgian clubs Westerlo and Eupen and Dutch outfit MVV Maastricht.

Rennes finished 12th in Ligue 1 last season.

FC Porto

Goalkeeper Andres Fernandez has become the latest Spanish player to sign for Porto after the Portuguese giants announced that he had penned a four-year contract at the Estadio do Dragao on Wednesday.

The 27-year-old arrives from Osasuna to join the Spanish colony that has been burgeoning at Porto since the appointment as coach of former Spain keeper Julen Lopetegui.

Porto have already signed forward Adrian Lopez from Atletico Madrid and midfielder Oliver Torres joined on loan from the Spanish champions.

Barcelona winger Cristian Tello has also been recruited on loan, while left-back Jose Angel has joined from AS Roma on a four-year deal.

Porto will enter the Champions League at the play-off stage after finishing third in the Portuguese top flight last season.

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