How has the World Cup affected this year’s transfer market?

July is traditionally the time of year when transfer season moves into top gear, and the rumour machine across the Premier League, Championship and Leagues One and Two starts going into overdrive. This year, of course, attention has been focused to lands further east and the events in Russia. It is understandable that with so many Premier League players in action for their countries, the usual transfer frenzy among the giants, both in the UK and Europe, has been deferred till later in the month. But this has also resulted…

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Barcelona sign Sevilla centre-back Clement Lenglet

Barcelona have signed Sevilla centre-back Clement Lenglet for £32m on a five-year contract after the club met his release clause. The 23-year-old had long been linked with a move to a bigger club after impressive performances with Sevilla whom he joined from French side Nancy in January 2017, and scored four goals in 52 games last season. Lenglet, who has been capped at all levels of youth football for France but missed out on Didier Deschamps World Cup squad, now has a £265m release clause in his Barcelona contract.   Barcelona…

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Antonio Conte sacked by Chelsea with Maurizio Sarri waiting in the wings

Antonio Conte has been sacked by Chelsea after two seasons in charge of the club with outgoing Napoli manager Maurizio Sarri expected to take over in the coming days. Conte, who won the Premier League and the FA Cup in his two seasons at the club, expected to get the axe after relations increasingly turned sour but with negotiations becoming complicated with Napoli over Sarri, Conte returned to the club this week to take charge of pre-season. He had a year to run on a £9m-a-season deal, renegotiated last summer in the…

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Fulham seal sensational Seri swoop for club record fee

Fulham have completed the signing of Jean Michaël Seri from Nice for a club-record fee in the region of £25m, on an initial four-year contract with a further option for one year. The west London club have beaten off stiff competition from several European clubs to sign Seri, who was on the verge of a move to Barcelona last summer. Chelsea, West Ham, Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal were thought to be interested in the Ivory Coast international but Slavisa Jokanovic’s side have acted decisively to make him their first summer…

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Arsenal sign French youngster Matteo Guendouzi from Lorient

Arsenal have completed the signing of Matteo Guendouzi from Ligue 2 side Lorient for an undisclosed fee believed to be £7m. The youngster began his career at the Paris Saint-Germain academy before joining Lorient’s academy in 2014. The 19-year-old, who plays as a defensive playmaker, made his first team debut for Lorient in Ligue 1 and went on to make 30 appearances in a season that saw them relegated. Guendouzi is a France youth international having represented his country at under-18, under-19 and under-20 level. “He is a talented young…

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Manchester City finally complete £60m Mahrez capture

Manchester City have finally completed the signing of Riyad Mahrez from Leicester City for a club record fee of £60m that could rise to £75m with add-ons The 27-year-old was linked with the Premier League champions in January and even went as far as handing in a transfer request but Pep Guardiola’s side balked at Leicester’s £90m fee. Mahrez, who will wear the no 26 jersey, has signed a five-year contract at the Etihad Stadium and will hope to play a major role in City’s title defence. “I am so pleased to…

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Cristiano Ronaldo joining Juventus in €100m deal from Real Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo is joining Juventus after the Italian club agreed a €100m (£88.3m) fee for the Portuguese forward with Real Madrid. The 33-year-old is set to sign a four-year deal in Turin reportedly worth a staggering £500,000/week. “Real Madrid CF communicates that, in response to the will and request expressed by the player Cristiano Ronaldo, he has agreed to transfer to Juventus FC,” read a statement on the club’s website. The player and his agent, Jorge Mendes, met the Juventus chairman, Andrea Agnelli, in Greece where he is on holiday, on…

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Fernando Torres joins Japanese side Sagan Tosu

Former Liverpool, Chelsea and Spain striker Fernando Torres has signed for Japanese side Sagan Tosu on a free transfer after his contract at Atletico Madrid expired last month. The 34-year-old rejoined his boyhood club in 2014 for a second spell after spending time on loan at AC Milan. Torres made his final appearance for Atletico as a 90th minute substitute in the 3-0 Europa League final victory over Marseille back in May. “I have had offers from France, Germany and even one from Spain but at no point did I…

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Arsenal sign Lucas Torreira from Sampdoria

Arsenal have completed the signing of Lucas Torreira from Sampdoria for an undisclosed fee, the club announced Tuesday. The 22-year-old midfielder completed his medical at Arsenal’s London Colney training ground and will wear the number 11 shirt at Arsenal. The Uruguay international had been linked with Unai Emery’s team for some time and the deal inched towards completion when Sampdoria president Massimo Ferrero revealed he had accepted a €30 million offer from the Gunners last month. Torreira’s participation at the World Cup, where he played all five of Uruguay’s games, meant the deal…

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Antonio Conte in charge of Chelsea training amid uncertain future at club

Antonio Conte took charge of Chelsea’s first full day of pre-season training at the club’s facilities in Cobham despite uncertainty over his immediate future at the club. Conte and his entire backroom staff were in place as the first team players began their preparations for next season with reports of Maurizio Sarri replacing his fellow Italian still making the rounds. Reports in Italy say negotiations between between Napoli and Chelsea over Sarri’s appointment as Conte’s potential replacement are deadlocked. Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis is waiting for an improved offer from…

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Barcelona sign Arthur on six-year deal from Gremio

Barcelona have completed the £35.5m signing of Brazilian midfielder Arthur from Gremio on a six-year deal. The 21-year-old who has yet to be capped by Brazil at senior level has a buyout clause in his contract set at £355m. “FC Barcelona and Gremio de Porto Alegre have agreed the transfer of the player Arthur Henrique Ramos de Oliveira Melo, following the agreement the two clubs reached in March,” read a statement on Barcelona’s website. “The agreement will see the Brazilian player immediately join the squad.” Arthur started his career at his…

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Jack Wilshere joins West Ham on three-year deal

Jack Wilshere has become a West Ham player after signing a three-year deal with the club following the expiration of his Arsenal contract at the end of last month. Wilshere left Arsenal this summer, a club he joined aged nine, after talks with new manager Unai Emery left him adamant that his “playing time would be significantly reduced”. “It feels good and of course my family and a few of my friends are West Ham fans so everyone’s buzzing,” Wilshere, whose brother and father are also supporters of his new…

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Luis Enrique named Spain coach on two-year deal

Spain have named Luis Enrique as their new head coach after Fernando Hierro stepped down from temporary charge following their last-16 World Cup exit to Russia, the Spanish Football Federation (SFF) announced on Monday. Enrique, who has been on a sabbatical since leaving Barcelona last year, signed a two-year contract. Spain sacked Julen Lopetegui just two days before their opening World Cup game against Portugal in Sochi because he took the Real Madrid job. Spain’s newly-installed sporting director, José Francisco Molina, said: “We need a successful coach, who’s modern and who knows the game…

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Paulinho rejoins Guangzhou Evergrande on loan 11 months after Barcelona move

Paulinho has sealed a loan move back to Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande just 11 months after joining Barcelona for €40 million, both clubs have announced. The Chinese Super League champions have an option to buy after the expiration of the loan deal. Paulinho’s move to Barcelona raised many eyebrows last summer and he was seen as a trailblazer for players who moved to China and could find their way back to European top flight football. He played 49 times during his solitary season at the Camp Nou scoring 9 goals in…

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Paris St-Germain complete signing of Buffon from Juventus

Paris St-Germain have signed former Juventus and Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon on a free transfer. Buffon, 40, left Juventus at the end of last season, ending a 17-year stay at a club where he played 656 times. The nine-time Serie A winner has signed a one-year deal with the French champions with the option for a further 12 months. “I know what dreams PSG and its fans have in their hearts,” he said. “I am going to bring all my energy, all my experience and all of my thirst to…

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Cristiano Ronaldo set for sensational Juventus switch

Cristiano Ronaldo is on the cusp of sealing a sensational move to Juventus from Real Madrid, according to multiple media reports in Portugal, Italy and Spain. The five-time Ballon D’or winner cast doubt on his future at Real in the immediate aftermath of winning the Champions League for the third successive year, and it appears a move to the Italian champions is inching ever closer. According to Portuguese newspaper Record, Ronaldo is set to sign a four-year contract in Turin and a €100m deal is set to be confirmed in…

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Achraf Hakimi set for loan move to Borussia Dortmund

Real Madrid right back Achraf Hakimi is on the verge of a loan move to Borussia Dortmund for at least two seasons, according to media reports in Germany and Spain. The Spanish giants have completed the €40m signing of Real Sociedad defender Alvaro Odriozola, and the Spain international’s arrival means there will be limited opportunities for Hakimi next term. BILD says the 19-year-old Morocco international is Dortmund’s first choice at right back and he will spend the next two seasons at the Signal Iduna Park. With Dani Carvajal, Nacho and Odriozola…

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Real Madrid sign Alvaro Odriozola from Real Sociedad

Real Madrid have completed the signing of Real Sociedad defender Alvaro Odriozola for a fee in the region of €40m. The 22-year-old has signed a six-year contract with the Spanish giants and is expected to provide competition for Dani Carvajal at right back. The arrival of Julen Lopetegui appears to have played a part in the right back’s move as he is a huge admirer. The former Spain manager selected Odriozola in Spain’s 23-man squad to the World Cup ahead of the likes of Hector Bellerin and Sergi Roberto. Real Sociedad had…

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Barcelona deny former president bought illegal liver for Abidal

Barcelona have taken the extraordinary step to deny that former president Sandro Rosell illegally bought a liver for ex-France defender Eric Abidal. Abidal, 38, who is now the club’s technical secretary, had a transplant in 2012 after a tumour was found in his liver. Reports in Spain claim Rosell, who was arrested for money-laundering in 2017, purchased the organ on the black market. Barcelona say they “roundly deny any irregularity in the matter. “The club are saddened by the lack of rigor in the spreading of such information about such a sensitive issue.”…

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Real Madrid deny transfer agreement for Mbappe with PSG

Real Madrid have denied they have agreed a deal with Paris Saint-Germain to sign striker Kylian Mbappe. Media reports circulating said the Champions League champions had agreed a fee for the teenage sensation who’s currently on national team duty with the French national team at the ongoing World Cup in Russia. “Real Madrid has not made any offers to PSG or the player and regrets the dissemination of this type of information,” a club statement read. “Given the information published in the last hours referring to an alleged agreement between…

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UEFA announce decision to review PSG FFP ruling

PSG are once again under scrutiny from football authorities after UEFA announced a decision to review the ruling that cleared the club of breaching Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations. The Ligue 1 champions had only last month been deemed to be in line with FFP rules after an investigation into transfer contracts and management related accounts at the club by UEFA’s club financial control body (CFCB). Although transfer activity at the Parisian club would still be under monitoring, PSG were largely in the clear. But on Tuesday UEFA said the chairman…

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Manchester United complete goalkeeper Lee Grant signing

Manchester United have completed the signing of goalkeeper Lee Grant from Stoke City on a two-year deal. The 35-year-old, who previously had two spells with Derby County and has also kept goal for Sheffield Wednesday and Burnley, had impressed in the Premier League over the past two years with Stoke. The move opens the door for third choice goalkeeper Joel Pereira to leave Old Trafford on loan to gain some experience during the 2018/19 season. Grant only played three league games last season after playing second fiddle to Jack Butland…

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Mohamed Salah signes new Liverpool contract

Mohamed Salah has signed a new five-year contract that keeps him at Liverpool until 2023, in what manager Jurgen Klopp, describes as proof of the club’s progress. The Egyptian international was widely coveted by the biggest names in football after a historic debut season at Anfield where he scored 44 goals in 52 appearances and led Liverpool to their first Champions League final in 11 years. Financial details of the contract weren’t made public but it is understood Salah has increased his basic wage to around £200,000/week and the deal…

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Arsenal complete Papastathopoulos signing from Dortmund

Arsenal have completed the signing of Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Borussia Dortmund for an undisclosed fee on a long-term contract. Reports linking the Greek international with the north London club have been widespread in the last few weeks and Unai Emery has now got his man as he continues the rebuilding work following Arsene Wenger’s departure. The 30-year-old brings experience to Arsenal’s defence and having won two Bundesliga titles and one German Cup during his time with Dortmund, Emery will be hoping he proves the lynchpin at the heart of a new-look club.…

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Thibaut Courtois hints at Madrid move for kids’ sake

Thibaut Courtois could be set to leave Chelsea for a move to Madrid to spend more time with his young kids. The Chelsea goalkeeper has one year left on his current deal at Stamford Bridge, and although the club are hopeful of convincing him to sign a new £200,000/week contract, Courtois has hinted at a move to Madrid where he spent three seasons on loan with Atletico. Real Madrid have long been credited with an interest in the Belgium international who is currently at the World Cup. “I have a…

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