With one more week left in the summer transfer window, there’s still plenty of time to find and secure necessary reinforcements (or unnecessary, if you so choose). But at the same time, there needs to be a little haste in negotiations and decisions to prevent a deal going down to the wire, getting gazumped (word of the day!) by someone else, or having to go to Plan B, C, or D at the last minute.
There’s still sure to be plenty of deadline-day hysteria (who will be this year’s Rafael van der Vaart?), but deadline day might well not even trump today as big money day, with three big, big deals all coming to completion today.
Chelsea Seal Mata Deal
While the move of Samir Nasri to Manchester City has been the headliner over the last couple of days, it’s Chelsea who have wrapped up the most expensive Premier League signing of the summer (thus far), as the Blues today put the finishing touches on a 26m deal for Valencia star Juan Mata.
The 23-year-old has signed a five-year deal, and he’ll be ready and available to wreak havoc on Norwich City on Saturday at Stamford Bridge.
It’s no surprise that Chelsea have spent this summer, but with quite a few aging players still holding down key roles in the side, Roman Abramovich’s money has been spent very well, as they’ve added youthful talent that could comprise the new core of their side in the coming years. Out of their four new signings, Mata is the one who will have the biggest immediate impact, with his experience, quality, and versatility to fit almost anywhere in attack.
His arrival might well mark the end for last weekend’s hero at West Brom, Florent Malouda, who has been linked with a move to Juventus.
Nasri Signs For City
As for Mr. Nasri, there were silly early rumors today (here’s lookin’ at you, Daily Mail) that Manchester United were ‘monitoring the situation’ and could make a last-minute swoop to hijack his move to City, but those reports were unsurprisingly unfounded, and the Frenchman has completed his 24m switch to Eastlands/the Etihad Stadium/Maine Road Mark II.
Nasri has penned a four-year deal with his new club, and he’s set to make his debut in the #19 shirt this weekend at Tottenham, against whom, as I mentioned in yesterday’s roundup, Nasri had great success last season.
As I’m writing this, his former side, Arsenal, have just fallen behind 1-0 to Udinese in their do-or-die Champions League qualifying tie, and irrespective of tonight’s result (and especially if they miss out on the CL group stage), we’ll likely see calls for Arsenal to invest the Nasri (and Fabregas) money on new midfield signings, even if Arsene Wenger is bullishly confident that he has the players within his squad to replace his two best (former) players.
Eto’o Finalizes Russia Move
Samuel Eto’o was likely already set for life, but now he’s set for this life and the next few, after completing a move from Inter Milan to Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala.
It had been reported that the deal would make Eto’o the highest-paid footballer in history, with a salary of 17.8m per season, but from what Anzhi spokesperson Alexander Udaltsov says, the figures for Eto’o’s transfer fee and for his salary might not match the reports.
Still, it looks like he’s going to be one of the highest-paid players in the business, so I don’t think he’ll be complaining.
Liverpool Line Up Coates
Liverpool may have missed out on Phil Jones earlier this summer, but they look to be on the verge of landing another highly-rated young center back. According to reports, Liverpool have had a bid accepted by Uruguayan club Nacional for Sebastian Coates, believed to be in the region of 7-8m.
The 20-year-old Coates was named Best Young Player at this summer’s Copa America, as he played an integral role in helping Uruguay capture their first Copa title since 1995. Coates only made his senior international debut in Uruguay’s second group game against Chile, but he went on to start four games total, including the 3-0 final win over Paraguay.
Manchester City are also reportedly interested in Coates, but he’s already made it clear where his preference lies, with the presence of international teammate Luis Suarez playing a part in swaying the balance in Liverpool’s favor. I wonder if that means that Suarez is due a cut of the fee then…