Sports Football 06 Jul 2017 Transfer roundup: Ar ...

Transfer roundup: Arsenal make record signing, Real Madrid sign Marcelo back-up

AP / AFP | DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Jul 6, 2017, 7:41 pm IST
Updated Jul 9, 2017, 8:46 am IST
Clubs from the Premier League are giving it their all in the transfer window (Photo: Twitter)
 Clubs from the Premier League are giving it their all in the transfer window (Photo: Twitter)

Arsenal sign goal-machine Lacazette for club record fee 

Arsenal agreed a deal to sign France striker Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon for a club-record fee that could rise to 60 million euros ($68m, £52.56m), the two clubs confirmed on Wednesday. The transfer fee is also a new record sale for the Ligue 1 outfit, worth initial 53m euros, according to a statement on the Lyon website. Arsenal said the 26-year-old had signed a "long-term contract".

"We are very happy to have Alexandre join our group. He has shown over a number of years that he can score goals and that he is a very efficient finisher," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said.

"As well, he has very interesting technical qualities and a strong character. So he is a guy who is a great addition for us, and someone who will help us challenge at the top level this season."

He had been at Lyon since the age of 12, and scored 129 goals for the senior team, including 100 in Ligue 1. Lacazette, who has made 11 international appearances for France, last season became the first player to score 20 goals or more in three successive French top-flight seasons since Jean-Pierre Papin in 1992.

Lacazette will be hoping that the move to Arsenal can help boost his hopes of cementing a place in the France squad ahead of next year's World Cup, having only played one international in the last two years.

The north London club will be expecting Lacazette to add some much-needed firepower up front, after a disappointing fifth-placed finish in the Premier League last term that saw them miss out on the Champions League for the first time in 19 years.

Los Blancos sign Theo Hernandez from rivals Atletico

Real Madrid has signed a six-year deal with French defender Theo Hernandez after securing his transfer from rival Atletico Madrid. The 19-year-old Hernandez impressed last season while playing on loan from Atletico to fellow Spanish league club Alaves. The left-back had been linked with a move to Real Madrid for several months.

Hernandez played for Atletico's youth teams before his stint with Alaves. Atletico said in a statement that Hernandez had "rejected on several occasions Atletico Madrid's offers to renew his contract" that was good through 2021. Neither club disclosed the financial details of the transfer.

With Hernandez playing a leading role, Alaves surpassed expectations by reaching the Copa del Rey final last season and finishing the Spanish league in ninth as a newly promoted team.

Hernandez will likely be a second-choice player for coach Zinedine Zidane behind Brazil left back Marcelo. While Hernandez arrived at the defending European and Spanish champions, left back Fabio Coentrao was sent on loan to Sporting Lisbon. Coentrao joined Madrid in 2011, but injuries and the strong play of Marcelo greatly limited his playing opportunities in recent campaigns.

Barcelona has yet to make any moves this summer, but it did announce on Wednesday that star forward Lionel Messi will sign a three-year contract extension keeping him at the club through 2021.

Spurs, Everton star Pienaar returns to South Africa 

Johannesburg-born former Everton, Tottenham Hotspur and Sunderland midfielder Steven Pienaar joined South African Premiership champions Wits Wednesday on a one-year contract.

"I am officially a Clever Boy," tweeted Pienaar, referring to the nickname of his new club whose home ground is at the University of the Witwatersrand campus in Johannesburg.

The former South Africa captain made 61 international appearances and scored three goals. He moved from Ajax Cape Town to Ajax Amsterdam in 2001, setting in motion a European career that spanned three countries and 16 years.

Pienaar left Ajax for German Bundesliga outfit Borussia Dortmund, then played for Everton, Tottenham, Everton again and Sunderland. His contract with relegated Sunderland ended last month and the 35-year-old had been linked with several South African clubs before signing for Wits.  

The Johannesburg club became national champions last season for the first time in their 96-year history.

Swansea boost midfield strength by signing Mesa 

Spanish midfielder Roque Mesa signed for English Premier League side Swansea from Las Palmas for a reported ?11million (12.5m euros, $14.2m) on Thursday.

The 28-year-old -- who spent seven years with Las Palmas and was pivotal in their return to the elite in 2015 -- signed a four-year contract. Las Palmas retained their place in the top flight last season finishing 14th with Mesa scoring once in 35 appearances.

"The midfielder has penned a four-year contract with the Swans after completing his medical this morning (Thursday)," read a statement on the club website.

"He met his new team-mates at Fairwood (training ground) on Wednesday, while he will train for the first time on Monday after returning from Spain."

       Mesa's arrival will offset the loss of South Korean international midfielder Ki Sung-Yueng, who is to miss the beginning of the Premier League season with a knee injury.

Sevilla captain Iborra completes Premier League switch to Leicester

Sevilla captain Vicente Iborra became 2016 Premier League champions Leicester City's second signing of the close season after inking a four-year deal on Thursday.

The 29-year-old defensive midfielder enjoyed a hugely successful four-year spell at Sevilla, lifting the Europa League trophy on three occasions. Leicester know Iborra well as he played against them in both legs of their Champions League tie last season which the English side went on to win. 

"Iborra becomes Leicester City's second signing of the summer, following the addition of Harry Maguire from Hull City last month and will link up with his new team-mates ahead of a pre-season training camp in Austria next week," Leicester said in a statement on their website.

Iborra, who began his career with unfashionable Levante before being snapped up by Sevilla in 2013, said he was looking forward to the new challenge. 

"I'm very happy to be here with Leicester City and I'm looking forward to experiencing the Premier League with my new team-mates next season," said Iborra.

"Everything about this club seems good and it's been great to meet my new team-mates. I've already spoken with them about the city and the club so I can't wait to get started."
 

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