Transfer news and speculation, 16 July

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Georgios Samaras revealed he "closed the doors" on all other clubs to fulfil his wish to sign a permanent deal with Celtic. The Greece international has signed a three-year contract with the Scottish champions having scored six times in 21 appearances during a four-month loan spell from Manchester City last season. Samaras, 23, who made one substitute appearance for Greece in the European Championship this summer, is thought to have cost around £1m. Samaras was rarely handed a starting jersey during his loan spell at the club last season, the manager Gordon Strachan preferring to go with Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink and Scott McDonald, who scored 51 goals between them as the Hoops captured their third Scottish Premier League title in succession. The former Heerenveen striker stressed his desire to remain in Glasgow. "It was my first choice to stay," he said. "I didn't want to stay at Manchester City and the door was closed to other clubs. My priority was Celtic. I had a beautiful four months last season. I enjoyed the football and the attitude and mentality of the club is exactly how I think about football – always attacking. And of course, the gaffer, my team-mates and supporters are also positives."

Mowbray tempts Cech from Porto

West Bromwich Albion have bought the Slovakia left-back Marek Cech from Porto for £1.4m. The 25-year-old has signed a three-year contract with the Premier League newcomers. Cech, who can also play on the left side of midfield, has linked up with Tony Mowbray's side on their pre-season tour of the Netherlands and Germany. The 6ft 1in defender has made 29 senior appearances for his country, scoring three goals – including two in a 5-0 Euro 2008 qualifying win over San Marino in November 2007. Cech came through the ranks at Inter Bratislava, before joining Sparta Prague in 2004. A move to Porto followed 12 months later, where he became part of the side to win the last three Portuguese league titles.

Mourinho finalises Mancini signing

Roma's Brazilian midfielder Mancini has become Jose Mourinho's first major signing at Internazionale. Roma, who finished second to Inter last season, announced an initial agreement last week and the deal has now been finalised after the player returned from holiday. Inter were tracking Mancini even before Mourinho's arrival and his signing now makes it less likely they will bid for Porto's Ricardo Quaresma. Their interest in Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard remains, however. Luis Figo, a rival to Mancini on the left flank, is still expected to sign a new one-year deal rather than retire.

Juventus call halt to Alonso pursuit

The Juventus president Giovanni Cobolli Gigli said yesterday that he has called off the club's pursuit of Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso. Gigli added that Juventus have finished their activity in the summer transfer market – "unless something extraordinary happens". The Bianconeri signed Christian Poulsen from Seville on Monday, – their eighth summer acquisition. "I am convinced that we have made a good choice by acquiring Christian Poulsen," Gigli said. "This signing is... a tactical decision, knowing that a powerful attack can only be supported by a strong midfield."

Yesterday's completed moves:

John Pantsil and Bobby Zamora (West Ham) to Fulham; £6.3m (combined fee)

Marek Cech (Porto) to West Bromwich; £1.4m

Georgios Samaras (Manchester City) to Celtic; Undisclosed

Matty Hughes (Rochdale) to Celtic; Undisclosed

Comments