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Transfer news LIVE: Chelsea sign Saul Niguez as Barcelona’s Antoine Griezmann rejoins Atletico Madrid

Follow all the reaction after a thrilling transfer deadline day that saw a number of deals go to the wire

Jack Rathborn
Wednesday 01 September 2021 16:59
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Premier League clubs complete big deals in the final hours of transfer deadline day

It was a tremendous transfer deadline day with several transfers completed with minutes to spare as the Premier League dominated the market once again in terms of total spend.

There were big deals elsewhere though, including Eduardo Camavinga signing for Real Madrid from Stade Rennais, but the one that didn’t happen dominated the headlines: Kylian Mbappe stays at Paris Saint-Germain, that’s despite the France international having just one year remaining on his contract and Real Madrid making a bid of £172m (€200m).

For PSG, it was all about the Champions League and they even splashed out late on Nuno Mendes to ram home the point and prove their strength to resist Los Blancos in the ongoing power struggle.

Cristiano Ronaldo is now officially a Manchester United player and was unveiled in a red shirt - though we now await what number he will wear at Old Trafford in his second spell at the club. The return of the Portuguese allowed Daniel James to move on and finally join Leeds United for £25m two years after coming as close as possible to signing for a team when he left Swansea.

Chelsea had a fine window, signing Romelu Lukaku and adding Saul Niguez late on via a loan, with an option to buy, though they did miss out on one big deal, centre-back Jules Kounde stays at Sevilla despite interest from the Blues.

Arsenal were the other busy club as the deadline expired, retaining the disgruntled Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who had spoken out on his desire to leave, while allowing Hector Bellerin to join Real Betis on loan and bringing in Japan right-back Takehiro Tomiyasu from Bologna for around £17m.

There is still the potential to add free agents, which will be the route for Serge Aurier after his Tottenham contract was mutually ended, with Spurs signing Emerson Royal from Barcelona - here’s all the latest news and reaction to the summer transfer window.

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Édouard reveals Vieira admiration is big reason for Crystal Palace move

New Crystal Palace striker Odsonne Édouard has spoken of his admiration for new boss Patrick Vieira and says he’s a big reason behind his transfer.

The 23-year-old left Celtic after five seasons last night in order to move to Selhurst Park, and the prospect of playing under the former Arsenal captain’s stewardship is something Édouard is relishing.

Édouard explained: “He’s a French legend. Everyone knows him. For me it’s a big thing to play for him. I’m looking forward to meeting him.

“It’s a big challenge for me. A big change. I feel I’m ready for it.”

Dan Austin1 September 2021 16:59
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Who were the transfer windows winners and losers?

The whole idea of signing new footballers is to use them in order to win trophies. But that doesn’t stop some supporters from treating the transfer window like a trophy in its own right.

You’ll, no doubt, have some variation on these sentences as tweets and WhatsApp messages in the past 24 hours: “I think we’ve won the transfer window!”, “Hang on, why on Earth are they buying *him*?!”, and “We’ve somehow ended up worse off.”

But which Premier League teams really did win and lose in the transfer window? We’ve done the analysis and come up with a definitive verdict.

Premier League transfer deadline day winners and losers

There was plenty of late business as usual as clubs moved to strengthen their squads for the new season

Dan Austin1 September 2021 16:35
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Jérôme Boateng relishing prospect of facing Messi again

One of the things Jérôme Boateng is looking forward to most about his move to Olympique Lyonnais is facing-off against Lionel Messi once again. Apparently.

The German centre-half has joined Peter Bosz’s men on a free transfer after the expiration of his contract with Bayern Munich, and with Messi now playing for Paris Saint-Germain, he’s set to compete with the man who caused him such humiliation six years ago.

Messi’s twisting and turning caused Boateng to fall to the floor in a Champions League tie in 2015, with the Argentine then tucking the ball away to score one of the finest, and cheekiest, goals of his career.

But Boateng said: “I like playing against the best in the world. I’ve had both good and bad experiences against Messi. That’s normal in football. I ask myself who else can say they’ve had a good experience against him.”

Dan Austin1 September 2021 16:20
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Cristiano Ronaldo is ‘greatest player to play the game’, Harry Maguire says

Harry Maguire considers Cristiano Ronaldo to be the best footballer of all time and cannot wait to line up alongside the returning Manchester United great.

Shockwaves were sent around the footballing world on Friday as the Old Trafford giants swept in to strike a deal with Juventus for the 36-year-old, just as the forward appeared to be edging towards rivals Manchester City.

“It’s amazing,” the defender said. “Obviously I’m away with England at the moment so my focus is on the game tomorrow but for him to sign back for the club (is amazing).

“For me, the greatest player to play the game. It’s amazing to have him at the club. I’m sure he’s going to have a big impact on and off the field and many players can look and learn and improve.

Cristiano Ronaldo is ‘greatest player to play the game’, Harry Maguire claims

Shockwaves were sent around the footballing world on Friday as the Old Trafford giants swept in to strike a deal with Juventus for the 36-year-old

Dan Austin1 September 2021 16:07
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Cristiano Ronaldo eager to ‘win great things’ in second spell with Man Utd

Cristiano Ronaldo has spoken of his desire to “win great things” in his second stint with Manchester United.

The 36-year-old Portugal forward completed a sensational return to United on transfer deadline day, rejoining the club from Juventus on a two-year deal.

“I moved from Juve now to Manchester, it’s a new chapter, I’m so happy and glad, and I want to carry on again, to make history, to try to help Manchester achieve great results, to win trophies and number one of them, to win great things.”

Cristiano Ronaldo eager to ‘win great things’ in second spell with Man Utd

The 36-year-old rejoined the club on a two-year deal

Dan Austin1 September 2021 15:58
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Mbappé transfer stand-off is about far more than one footballer

Speaking of Paris Saint-Germain, Kylian Mbappé will be remaining in the French capital after Real Madrid failed to negotiate a deal for the 22-year-old World Cup winner.

But the implications of the non-deal are far bigger than one footballer, extremely talented though he may be. This is a story of power, geopolitics, oil, and above all, ego.

Melissa Reddy is here with the analysis for what the Mbappé impasse means for the future of football.

The PSG and Real Madrid impasse over Kylian Mbappe

The French forward was reportedly set for a move to the Santiago Bernabeu - until the Parisian outfit simply refused to answer the call

Dan Austin1 September 2021 15:44
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Paris Saint-Germain complete transfer window with Nuno Mendes capture

Paris Saint-Germain signed full-back Nuno Mendes on loan from Sporting CP last night to finish their summer transfer business.

The 19-year-old is already a full Portuguese international and will compete with Layvin Kurzawa and Juan Bernat for a place as the starting left-back in Mauricio Pochettino’s side.

With Gianluigi Donnarumma, Sergio Ramos and Achraf Hamiki, PSG will be able to field an almost an entirely new backline this season. Add in the signings of Georginio Wijnaldum in midfield and Lionel Messi in attack and the Parisians will be an entirely prospect in the Champions League this season.

Whether this sheer amount of transfers, and the eye-watering cost in wages and signing on fees involved, should be permitted under Financial Fair Play rules is another questions entirely.

Dan Austin1 September 2021 15:33
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Free agents who could still make transfer moves in the near future

Just because the summer window closed last night doesn’t mean that we’re all done-and-dusted with transfers, oh no. As we’ve seen already today with Jérôme Boateng, Radamel Falcao and Olivier Ntcham, free agents can still join new clubs as they wish, and there are few intriguing names available for any clubs still looking for reinforcements.

In terms of strikers, Andy Carroll, Daniel Sturridge and Fernando Llorente are still without clubs. Hal Robson-Kanu is also available, as is Franck Ribery.

In midfield Jack Wilshere has been training with Como of Serie B in Italy but still has no contract offers, while Ahmed Elmohammady and Mo Besic, formerly of Aston Villa and Everton respectively, are on the market. Former Premier League players Robbie Brady and Hatem Ben Arfa are on the list too.

Defenders without clubs include David Luiz, Nicolas Nkoulou, Eliaquim Mangala and Rafael da Silva.

So if any sporting directors out there are still looking (or still desperate, perhaps), then options do exist...

Dan Austin1 September 2021 15:16
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AS Roma chief declares summer 2021 “hardest transfer window in the history of football.”

AS Roma General Manager Tiago Pinto has labelled the 2021 summer transfer window “one of the hardest in the history of football”

The Portuguese hired José Mourinho, who described as the “best coach in the world” as the club’s new manager in June, and told a press conference this afternoon about the difficulties he faced buying and selling to formulate a squad for his compatriot to lead forwards.

Despite the difficulties presented by the pandemic and a seventh-place finish last time out, Edin Dzeko left to join Inter after Romelu Lukaku’s departure, with Tammy Abraham arriving from Chelsea to replace the Bosnian along with Genoa’s Uzbekistan international forward Eldor Shomurodov.

Add in Rui Patricio from Wolves and three new defenders and Roma have been very busy indeed. Whether Mourinho can finally succeed after mediocre-at-best performances in his last two roles, only time will tell.

Dan Austin1 September 2021 14:53
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This is how Barcelona could look without Messi and Griezmann

Five years ago it was Messi, Suaréz and Neymar. Two years ago it was Messi, Suaréz, and Griezmann. Now? Well, Barcelona’s frontline looks an awful lot less impressive.

And to be honest, the rest of the squad is nowhere near as good as it was a few years ago, either, Add into the mix the fact that Ronald Koeman seems on very shaky ground after a poor first season in charge, and well, it’s hard to imagine just what a Barcelona side looks and plays like anymore.

So, we’ve had a go at building as coherent and fundamentally good a Barcelona team as possible in a few different shapes. Yes, that does mean we’ve left Martin Braithwaite out of all of them.

Now, this first eleven fits a lot of the big names in. It still has Coutinho and Dembélé wide, because the club hasn’t managed to shift either of those two onto somebody else’s payroll yet, with Depay supporting Aguero attack. It’s not brilliant, but it’s not that bad. The midfield looks bit lightweight but you need at least *some* creativity so Pedri gets the nod over Busquets.

This second system takes a bit of inspiration from the way the side used to play under Ernesto Valverde, in a sort of hybrid 4-4-2/4-2-2-2. Luuk de Jong, signed from Sevilla late on deadline day, joins Depay for a fully Dutch attack. What you’ll notice about all of these sides, though, is that the back four really doesn’t look all that intimidating, does it?

Barcelona have revamped their side this summer

So with that in mind, what about a back three? This one should allow the pace and attacking ability of Jordi Alba and Serginio Dest to be fully unlocked without having to worry too much about what’s behind them, while bringing Busquets into the midfield should shore things up too. Depay and Aguero have goals up front, and Koeman did employ a 3-5-2 on plenty of occasions last season.

Perhaps, on balance, this is the best way forward in a post-Messi world.

Dan Austin1 September 2021 14:42

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