x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Transfer talk: September 4 - Zenit sign big money duo, Owen drops hint

Two Brazilians on the move are among the late transfer deals taking place around the world as a final flurry of deadline day moves gets underway.

Hulk in action for Porto before his big money move to Zenit St Petersburg
Hulk in action for Porto before his big money move to Zenit St Petersburg

Big spending Russian champions Zenit St Petersburg have signed in-demand Brazilian international striker Hulk and Belgian midfielder Alex Witsel for a combined EU81m (Dh372.8m).

Hulk joins from Porto, while 23-year-old Witsel moves to Russia from Benfica.  Both have joined on five-year deals.

The pair each moved for around EU40m as the club raced to meet the Champions League sgning deadline.

"Congratulations to all of our supporters, to all of our fans, Hulk joined Zenit," the club site announced.

Forward Hulk, who has won three Portuguese titles and the 2011 Europa League trophy with Porto since joining from the Japanese J League in 2008, has scored five goals in his 14 international appearances.

Witsel, meanwhile, has been capped 30 times by Belgium.

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Mainz have given Ivan Klasnic a route back into the Bundesliga by signing the former Werder Bremen striker on a one-year contract.

The Croatian, who was released by Bolton in the summer, signed the deal after successfully passing a medical yesterday, although he was not Mainz's first-choice striker target.

"He was always our plan B," said the Bundesliga club's general manager Christian Heidel.  "After the transfer of Adrian Ramos failed to materialise, we wanted to get this one wrapped up as quickly as possible."

The 32-year-old has a fortnight to build up his fitness before Mainz's next game of the season against Bayern Munich on September 15.

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Former Al Shabab target Michael Owen looks set to reveal his next club within 24 hours.

The 32-year-old was in talks with the Pro League side earlier this summer, before negotiations broke down.

Since then, the free agent has been linked with moves to Stoke, Sunderland and Everton, while Brendan Rodgers, the Liverpool manager, hinted at taking the former Anfield favourite back to the club to solve his striker crisis.

Yesterday he fuelled speculation a decision might be imminent by tweeting a picture of his boots and shin pads with the message: "The tools of my trade are stacked and ready to go!"

After Marseille-bound player Joey Barton responded with, "Where u off mate?", Owen eventually replied with: "I will tell you on Wednesday!"

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Portuguese international midfielder Raul Meireles has joined Fenerbahce from Chelsea on a four-year deal.

The Stamford Bridge side confirmed the 29-year-old - who joined Chelsea on deadline day last year from Liverpool - had completed the move ahead of the Turkish transfer window closing tomorrow.

The Istanbul club, runners-up to Galatasaray last season in Turkey's Super League, have been looking to bolster their midfield after Emre Belozoglu left for Atletico Madrid on a free transfer earlier this year.

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Former Brazilian international defender Cris ended his eight-year spell at French Ligue 1 side Lyon by signing for Turkish giants Galatasaray for EU1.25m.

The 35-year-old, capped 22 times, won the Ligue 1 title for four successive years (2005-08) as well as the French Cup in 2008 and 2012 after joining Lyon from Brazilian side Cruzeiro in 2004.

Cris, who also won Brazilian titles with Corinthians in 1998 and Cruzeiro in 2003, would have been out of contract with the cash-strapped French side next June.