Done Deal: Transfer activity from Deadline Day, September 2

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It’s over, finally, and here’s the carnage – today’s transfers from Europe’s top five leagues. Good luck, and see you in January:


Arsenal – Özil. Arsenal bought Mesut Özil, shattering their transfer record to do so. They also secured a loan deal for Palermo’s Emiliano Viviano, who will compete for playing time in goal.

Aston Villa – Libor Kozák, a 24-year-old forward from the Czech Republic, makes his way from Lazio to Villa Park. The $7.8 million move sees the international arrive on a four-year deal.

Cardiff City – Peter Odemwingie has finally found a new home. Having never regained West Brom’s trust after showing up on QPR’s doorstep last January, the Nigerian international moves to Wales for $3.9 million.

Chelsea – In addition to loaning out Romelu Lukaku, the club sent defender Sam Hutchinson to the Eredivisie, where he will spend the year on loan at Vitesse. From late Sunday: Former Porto speedster Christian Atsu was purchased from Porto and immediately joined Hutchinson on loan at Vitesse.

Crystal Palace – One day after taking on Jimmy Kebe from Reading, the Eagles have added 26-year-old Aaron Mariappa from the Royals. Palace also added Scottish creator Barry Bannan from Aston Villa and 22-year-old defender Jack Hunt from Huddersfield Town. Peter Ramage moves from the Eagles to Barnsley on a one-year loan.

Everton – Former Wigan midfielder and Irish international James McCarthy rejoins his former coach, moving from the Latics. Everton gives up $20 million to get him. The Toffees also added Gareth Barry and Romelu Lukaku, snagging them on one-year loans. Francisco Júnior, a 21-year-old midfielder, goes on loan to Vitesse of the Eredivisie.

Fulham – Elsad Zverotic, a 26-year-old Montenegrin defender/defensive midfielder, joins the Cottagers from Switzerland’s Young Boys. He’s made over 30 appearances for this national team. The club also loaned prospect Cauley Woodrow to Southend United and 20-year-old forward Marcello Trotta to Brentford.

Hull City – 20-year-old defender Conor Townsend will spend the season at Carlisle United, sent out on a year-long loan.

Liverpool – In what may be one of the most significant deals of the window’s last day, Liverpool added Paris Saint-Germain’s Mamadou Sakho, somebody with the talent to slot right in to Brendan Rodgers’ back line. The reported price was $20 million. Tiago Ilori cost slightly less from Sporting Lisbon, the 20-year-old defender moving to Anfield for $10.9 million. Victor Moses, not a part of José Mourinho’s plans at Chelsea, arrives on loan, while Daniel Pacheco was loaned to Alcorcon.

Manchester City – Abdul Razak got some time last year under Roberto Mancini. This year, that time will have to come in Dagestan, with the  20-year-old midfielder loaned out to the Russian Premier League side.  Harry Bunn, a 20-year-old forward, will spend the season at Sheffield United.

Manchester United – Marouane Fellaini’s deal got done. The Everton midfielder joins for a reported $42.5 million. The Red Devils also found a home for Bebé, with Paços de Ferreira taking on the Portuguese for the season. Nick Powell, one year after being purchased by the club, goes out on loan to Wigan. Fabio Coentrao’s move, however, does not appear to have gone through.

Norwich City – Jacob Butterfield, a 23-year-old defender who was not in Chris Hughton’s plans, takes a step down, landing at Middlesborough of the English Championship.

Stoke City – In one of the more curious signings of the day, the Potters added Austrian enigma Marko Arnautovic, paying $3.1 million for the 24-year-old attacker who has also had spells at Twente and Inter Milan. He moves to the Britannia from Werder Bremen, joining Stephen Ireland, who played for Mark Hughes at Manchester City. The Potters lost Ryan Shotton, however, allowing the young defender to leave for Wigan Athletic, with Michael Knightly also departing on a loan to Burnley.

Swansea City – Swans turned to one of Michael Laudrup’s old stomping grounds, Getafe, to take Álvaro Vásquez, a 22-year-old striker, on loan.

Sunderland – Andrea Dossena is back in the Premier League after the man who brought him in for his failed spell at Liverpool, Rafa Benítez, sold him to the Black Cats. Whether Dossena’s ready to play a conventional left back, let alone in the Premier League, will be tested. Manager Paolo Di Canio also brought in Fabio Borini, another Italian, who moves on a season-long loan from Liverpool.

Tottenham – Fans will be sorry to see Benoit Assou-Ekotto go, the Cameroonian sent on loan to Queens Park Rangers for the season. Thomas Carroll will join Assou-Ekotto at Loftus Road.

West Bromwich Albion – Now Steve Clarke can throw numbers at the problem. The Baggies didn’t add a center forward upgrade, but they did get Victor Anichebe from Everton, giving West Brom another attacking option. Stephane Sessegnon also arrives, the Malian international moving from Sunderland. The Baggies also added 29-year-old goakeeper Lee Camp on a free from Norwich as well as Morgan Amalfitano, a surprise loan acquisition from Marseille.


Atlético Madrid – Toby Alderweireld had been linked to a number of Premier League clubs, yet the former Ajax defender ends up at the Vicente Calderon, with the fee undisclosed.

Getafe – After being bought from Arsenal de Sarandi last monthBenfica has loaned 24-year-old Argentine Lisandro López to the Madrid-based club. López has appeared four times for his country.

Sevilla – Talented Russian international Denis Cheryshev will get his first prolonged taste of senior-level competition with the Rojiblancos, the young attacker set to spend the season on loan from Real Madrid.


Eintracht Frankfurt – Attacking midifelder Tranquillo Barnetta, squeezed out at Schalke, will spent the campaign at Eintracht, the clubs having agreed to a year-long loan.

Hamburg – Part of a virtual loan swap between the teams, HSV get 21-year-old striker Pierre-Michel Lasogga. The Bayer 04 youth product has yet to appear at the senior level.

Hertha Berlin – Norwegian midfielder Per Skjelbred, who moved to Hamburg from Rosenborg in 2011, will spend the year in Berlin, on loan from HSV. Hertha also secured a loan deal for Tolga Cigerci, Woflsburg’s 21-year-old midfielder.

Nürnberg – Makoto Hasebe, a Japanese international who’d been out of favor at Wolfsburg, found a new home on deadline day, the defensive midfielder set to replace Serdar Tasci on a two-year deal.

Stuttgart – 19-year-old Bosnian striker Mark Maletic moves to the Dutch second division, Stuttgart having loaned the prospect to FC Oss.

Werder Bremen – 20-year-old defender Florian Hartherz has been sold to SC Paderborn, currently sitting near the bottom of the Germany second division. He’ll be joined there by Johannes Wurtz, the 21-year-old forward sent to Paderborn on loan.


Catania – It will be strange to see Jaroslav Plasil  in something other than a Bordeaux kit, but the Czech midfielder moves to the Serie A on loan.

Hella Verona – Young forward Juan Manuel Iturbe joins the newly-promoted side on a one-year loan from FC Porto, the Argentine attacker having been loaned to River Plate earlier this year.

Milan – The Kaka deal from Real Madrid, agreed between clubs yesterday, became official on Monday.

Parma – Joel Obi needs playing time, which he was unlikely to get at Inter Milan. He’ll spend the season on loan at Parma.

Sampdoria – Midfielder Birkir Bjarnson moves to Sampdoria, the 25-year-old Icelandic international having spent last season at Pescara, who’d just recently secured his full rights from Belgium’s Standard Liege. Samp also took 18-year-old Andrea Petagna on loan from Milan.


Bastia – One day after getting Milos Krasic on loan, Bastia have added Ryad Boudebouz from Sochaux, the Algerian winger another injection of talent for the Corsican club.

Marseille – OM finally completed the much-discussed purchase of Florian Thauvin, signing the young attacker to a five-year deal after the 20-year-old had held out from Lille to force a deal. The reported fee is $19.8 million.

Monaco – Another victim of Monaco’s buildup, Greek international Giorgios Tzavellas moves back to his home country, completing a move to Europa League-bound POAK, who finished runners-up to Olympiakos last season.

Nantes – The French side agreed to take 28-year-old midfielder Banel Nicolita on loan from St. Etienne. The right-sider spend six seasons at Steaua Bucharest.

Rennes – Silvio Romero, a 25-year-old Argentine attacker, moves to France, ending his three-plus seasons with Lanús. Over his 105 Primera Division games, Romero scored 28 goals.

Sochaux – Thomas Guerbert, a 24-year-old midfielder from Meaux, moves to this third club in four years, leaving Dijon. The club also takes on 22-year-old Emmanuel Mayuka on loan from Southampton.

Toulouse – 23-year-old Swiss defender François Moubandje makes the step up from Servette FC , the Swiss club having been relegated from the country’s first division.

Valenciennes – Another club benefitting from Monaco’s overstock, Valenciennes will have 25-year-old defender Gary Kagelmacher for the year on loan.

Jose Mourinho wants Diego Costa to process game situations “faster”

during the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and Chelsea at Britannia Stadium on November 7, 2015 in Stoke on Trent, England.
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Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho isn’t worried about Diego Costa‘s lack of goals this season, but he does know the problem.

Costa scored the winner against Norwich last time out, but has just three goals on the year and has looked frustrated often in recent matches. And the boss believes there’s still work to be done with Costa, particularly off the ball.

“Everything is OK, no problem, no problem,” Mourinho said in his pre-match press conference before Chelsea visits Spurs on Sunday. “But he’s not reading the game properly in these actions. That was my opinion. As a striker he must read. You have to play not only when you have the ball but when others have the ball. You have to anticipate things and read the game faster. Everything is an accumulation [of confidence]. You’re not on fire again just because you’ve scored a winning goal against Norwich. It’s all a process.”

Mourinho exploded at Costa in the waning moments of Chelsea’s 4-0 win over Maccabi Tel Aviv, with the manager focused on improving the Spaniard’s effort level.

“In the game I told him, from a distance, that I was not happy with the movement he did,” Mourinho said. “He told me a few nice words from where he was. And nothing happened.”

Despite the manager’s frustrations, Costa could be the only option on Sunday. Radamel Falcao is injured and Loic Remy’s wife is scheduled to give birth soon, leaving Chelsea’s main man as maybe the only man.

The match against Spurs is a huge one for the Blues. Chelsea seems to have recovered slightly from its early-season tumble down the table, but their only two wins since the 2-0 victory over Arsenal in mid-September have been against Aston Villa and Norwich, and a marquee win would see them firmly announce an intention to return to last season’s form. The competition will be stiff, as Spurs’ high press could frustrate Costa, potentially sending him into another mood. But it could also give him opportunities should the hosts slip on Sunday.

Premier League preview: Manchester City vs. Southampton

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 21: Manuel Pellegrini, manager of Manchester City looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Liverpool at Etihad Stadium on November 21, 2015 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
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  • Manchester City has lost both its home matches against top-10 sides this season
  • Southampton is six matches away unbeaten – club record is seven
  • Southampton has lost five straight at the Etihad across all competitions

Depending on results, Manchester City could be on top of the league come the end of the weekend if they can pick up three points when they welcome Southampton to the Etihad on Saturday (Watch live, 10:00 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra).

Unfortunately, they’ll face the Saints very banged up, something which has caused the home side plenty of issues recently. Goalkeeper Joe Hart suffered a hamstring injury midweek and will miss out, as will defenders Vincent Kompany, Pablo Zabaleta and Eliaquim Mangala.

[ WATCH LIVE: Stream every PL game via Live Extra ]

Manuel Pellegrini‘s squad struggled mightily at times without Sergio Aguero up front during his four-match injury absence. Aguero is back and scored last week in the 4-1 loss to Liverpool, but now the back line is giving the Chilean boss headaches. They broke again midweek, a 1-0 loss to Juventus in Champions League play leaving City fans scratching their heads.

Southampton saw its six-match unbeaten run come to a surprising end against Stoke City last weekend, and that puts them in an awkward spot, stuck in a clogged portion of the Premier League table where the gap between sixth and 11th is just two points. With a difficult London list of Spurs, Arsenal, and West Ham on the docket surrounding the December holidays, stolen points here at the Etihad would go a long way later on.

The Saints are also shorthanded, with Graziano Pelle suspended for yellow card accumulation after picking up his fifth of the season against Stoke. With Jay Rodriguez still sidelined, that leaves Shane Long to lead the Southampton attack.

What they’re saying

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini on injury problems: “All the clubs have the same problems here in England and in other European leagues, because the players have to play so many games in the year and they have to go to their national squads with long flights.”

Southampton midfielder Steven Davis on Manchester City: “The demand from their fans is to win every game and they’re coming off the back of a couple of bad results. They will be looking to put it right. It should be an entertaining game but we’ll need to be at our best to get something. I’m confident we can go there and do that.”


Because of Manchester City’s defensive issues, summer signing Nicolas Otamendi will be forced back into the starting lineup after finding himself on the bench for the Liverpool loss. Since Otamendi looked off the pace in his first two Premier League matches (both of which City lost), he has acclimated quite well – the club has conceded just three goals in the Argentinian’s five matches following those two defeats.

With the striker issues for Southampton, City will use the return of David Silva to run Southampton down. Silva is known for playing his part in early goals, and the first 15 minutes will be key in this match. Manchester City will get one early, and they will return to their winning ways on a 2-0 victory.

Words fly as Mathieu Valbuena opens up about blackmail scandal

LISBON, PORTUGAL - SEPTEMBER 04: France's midfielder Matthieu Valbuena celebrating France goal during the Friendly match between Portugal and France on September 04, 2015 in Lisbon, Portugal.  (Photo by Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images)
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Lyon midfielder Mathieu Valbuena has spoken out for the first time about the sex tape scandal that has rocked the French national team.

If what he says proves to be true, Karim Benzema could be in a whole heap of trouble.

Valbuena told his story to French newspaper Le Monde, where he explained how things began in May of 2015 with a phone call from Djibril Cisse that suggested someone had a tape of the 31-year-old Valbuena. A few days later a blocked number called Valbuena asking to meet in Dubai about the video. The Frenchman got the police involved, and then Benzema approached him during national team training.

“He [Benzema] spoke to me about a video. Immediately, I thought back to what the police chief had told me on Sunday [that someone would approach him about the video].  Then he asked me to meet a friend that he presented to be very reliable, very serious, someone that he had complete confidence in, to arrange all of that. So, anyway, I am not an idiot!

I was sceptical to say the least. Even if, it was true, at the start I said to him: “Thank you for warning me”, I was doubtful that if he wants me to meet someone, it is not for nothing. The way in which he conveyed things, it was certainly to provoke me to see someone, indirectly, it means to pay this person to destroy the video.”

Valbuena said Benzema never actually asked him to pay for the video to be destroyed, but that it was heavily implied. “I played his game, I told him, me I would like very much to pay for my freedom, but we all know that if you pay, it is endless, there will always be copies etc. He told me: ‘Don’t worry, I have total confidence in my friend, there will be no more duplicates, they will be destroyed.’ He insisted a lot for me to meet his friend.”

The Frenchman later would implicate Samir Nasri as someone who, according to Valbuena, had offered to approach him instead of Benzema. “[Nasri] is someone who is no longer part of the French national team. My relationship has always been difficult with Nasri. Now, nothing surprises me.”

Both have responded. Benzema’s lawyer gave an interview to French radio station RMC saying that there was contact between the two about the tape, but that the conversation saw Benzema encourage Valbuena not to pay for anything. Nasri also spoke to RMC, completely denying any involvement in the case by saying, “It is not my problem, not my situation.”

Benzema has been charged with conspiracy to blackmail for his role as an intermediary, but the investigation is still in the preliminary stages.

Premier League preview: Leicester City vs. Manchester United

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 07:  Jamie Vardy of Leicester City celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Watford at The King Power Stadium on November 7, 2015 in Leicester, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
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  • Leicester sits atop the Premier League table with 28 points
  •  Manchester United has conceded just once in their last 7 league games
  • Leicester’s Premier League games have produced 48 goals, the most in the league

Yes, this is #1 vs #2. No, your eyes are not deceiving you.

And yet somehow, that magnificent lede has been buried thanks to one Jamie Vardy.

The 28-year-old can break Ruud Van Nistelrooy’s Premier League record of 10 straight games with a goal as Leicester City hosts Van Nistelrooy’s former team Manchester United at King Power Stadium (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra).

[ WATCH LIVE: Stream every PL game via Live Extra ]

The Foxes are firmly atop the Premier League table, but many question whether they can hang onto that, and even others remain skeptical whether they can truly challenge for a top four spot this season. Saturday’s game will be a true test of their ability to remain in the hunt for the long haul, as the Red Devils are just a point off the top and, while it hasn’t been pretty at times this year, van Gaal’s men have done enough to pick up results in key situations.

On the other end, Manchester United has conceded just one goal in its last five league matches, and has not allowed a goal from open play since the Arsenal drubbing in early October. Can Vardy find space in the tight Red Devils’ back line?

Both teams are relatively healthy coming into this matchup. Leicester is only missing long-term absentee Matty Jones, while Manchester United is a little more banged up with Ander Herrera, Phil Jones, and Michael Carrick likely out alongside Luke Shaw and Antonio Valencia.

What they’re saying

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal on Leicester City’s chances at title“Normally these kind of clubs can compete for long time, then at the end it becomes more difficult. But in England because of the quality of the teams, because every team has the money to buy players – and they have bought players – the difference in the Premier League between the clubs is not so high.”

Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri on the Foxes’ aim“The league is very strange and open but our goal is 40 points. Our goal at the moment is this but let me see the next two months and then maybe I change the goal. Like everybody else I am also curious in these days to watch my team, and to see how we respond in these big matches.”


Manchester United’s results have been there, and they’ve created a ton of chances. On the flip side, Leicester’s improved defensive organization is solid enough to hold off the Red Devils. This one ends 1-1, and there is no change at the top. Vardy gets the Foxes’ goal, because who doesn’t like fun things?