Frantic last-minute British signings as transfer window closes

Saturday, September 01, 2012    

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LONDON, England (AFP) — Manchester City completed a double swoop for Inter Milan defender Maicon and Swansea winger Scott Sinclair as the Premier League champions set the pace in the frantic final hours before the transfer window closed yesterday.

With only a few hours left to bring in new players before the window shuts until January, England's top-flight clubs are engaged in a frenzy of last-minute wheeling and dealing.

City boss Roberto Mancini has endured a frustrating time in the transfer market since the end of last season, but there has been a late flurry of activity at Eastlands and his £6- million move for Sinclair was followed by the surprise capture of right-back Maicon for £3 million, as well as the arrival of former Arsenal goalkeeper Richard Wright on a free transfer.

Mancini may not be satisfied with just those three deals and he has also been linked with bids for Benfica midfielder Javi Garcia and Fiorentina defender Matija Nastasic.

To make room for his fresh recruits, Mancini sold Nigel de Jong to AC Milan, while Paraguay striker Roque Santa Cruz moved to Malaga on a season-long loan.

Fulham boss Martin Jol sealed a significant coup for his club as he signed Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov from Manchester United for £5 million.

Berbatov rejected interest from Juventus, Fiorentina and Tottenham to be reunited with Jol, who worked with the forward at Spurs.

Jol also brought in former England left-back Kieran Richardson from Sunderland, who then landed Tottenham defender Danny Rose on loan as a replacement.

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers continued his Anfield clear-out as Scotland international Charlie Adam was sold to Stoke for £4 million, while fellow midfielder Jay Spearing joined Bolton on a season-long loan.

Rodgers has been looking to bring in American forward Clint Dempsey from Fulham and that deal could still be on.

Across Merseyside, Everton are close to signing Bryan Oviedo from FC Copenhagen after agreeing a fee for the Costa Rica defender.

Tottenham's Holland midfielder Rafael van der Vaart headed to Germany to re-sign for his former club Hamburg, while the north London club allowed Mexico forward Giovani Dos Santos to move to Real Mallorca.

That could prompt a significant spending spree from Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas, who is reported to be interested in Lyon goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

Southampton finally signed Gaston Ramirez from Bologna for around £12 million after chasing the 21-year-old Uruguay playmaker for several weeks.

Swansea, needing a replacement for Sinclair, signed Spain winger Pablo Hernandez from Valencia for a club record £5.55 million.

Arsenal allowed South Korea striker Park Chu-young to go out on loan to Celta Vigo with a view to a permanent switch, while Denmark striker Nicklas Bendtner agreed a season-long loan with Italian champions Juventus.

Aston Villa signed young striker Jordan Bowery from Chesterfield for £500,000 and then turned their attention to securing Genk's Belgium striker Christian Benteke and Crewe midfielder Ashley Westwood.

QPR boss Mark Hughes has already signed a host of new players since the end of last season, but he is still in the market for more and confirmed that Marseille defender Stephane Mbia has arrived in London for a medical.



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