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Walters signs for Burnley; Huddersfield adds Jorgensen

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Burnley have signed Jonathan Walters from Stoke City with the Republic of Ireland international signing a two-year deal at Turf Moor after a transfer fee believe to be around $3.8 million was agreed.

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Walters, 33, has spent the past seven seasons at Stoke, helping them to become a solid Premier League club after joining in 2010 from Ipswich Town following several years in the lower leagues.

In recent years Walters has seen his game-time diminish at Stoke with Marko Arnatuovic, Xherdan Shaqiri, Saido Berahino and others but the versatile frontman has still played an important role for Ireland, scoring in both of their games against Uruguay and Austria last month.

The powerful striker will add experience and versatility to Sean Dyche‘s front line as the Clarets leaned heavily on Sam Vokes and Andre Gray for goals last season. Walters can either operate out wide or through the middle and the Liverpudlian will believe he still has plenty left in the tank.

Walters scored 62 times for Stoke in 271 appearances during his time in the Potteries. Walters becomes Burnley’s fifth signing of the summer after they added promising left back Charlie Taylor from Leeds United, Rahis Nabi from West Brom, Christian N’Guessan from Blackpool and Aidan Stone from Brocton.


Huddersfield Town made their ninth signing of the summer as David Wagner added Danish defender Mathias Jorgensen from FC Copenhagen.

The 27-year-old has arrived at the John Smith Stadium for a fee believed to be $4.5 million and he’s signed a three-year contract.

Jorgensen has UEFA Champions League experience and has won both the Danish league title and cup five times each during two spells with Copenhagen. Nicknamed “Zanka” he also had a spell at PSV Eindhoven and has seven international caps to his name.

“Mathias is another very good signing for our club as we prepare for our first Premier League season. He is a very complete defender with great experience of being successful in every league he has played in, which served us well with the signings we made last season too,” Wagner said. “His athleticism and football intelligence will be big assets in the Premier League, for sure, and he is a super professional character, which will fit in with our current group of players very well. This deal makes total sense for us because Jon (Stankovic) is out of action until Christmas.”

Huddersfield have also added Aaron Mooy, Kasey Palmer, Danny Williams, Elias Kachunga, Laurent Depoitre, Tom Ince, Steve Mounie and Scott Malone as German-American coach Wagner is acting fast in the transfer window ahead of the Terriers’ first-ever season in the Premier League.

Zouma signs new Chelsea contract, is immediately loaned to Stoke City

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Kurt Zouma‘s long-term future is secure at Chelsea, but his short-term future will be away from Stamford Bridge.

The France international centerback signed a new six-year contract with Chelsea and was promptly sent out on a season-long loan to Stoke City. Zouma made just three starts and nine total appearances last season as he came back from a torn ACL suffered in February 2016.

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“It is fantastic Kurt has chosen to commit his future to Chelsea,” Chelsea technical director Michael Emenalo said in a statement. “He has shown his talent since joining us three years ago, and has returned from a serious injury with a fantastic attitude.

“Now he has the opportunity to play regularly in the Premier League and we will be monitoring his progress closely while he is at Stoke.”

The move to Stoke will give Zouma a new experience, playing for a mid-table side in the Premier League, and it will be interesting to see where he fits in at centerback, battling with American Geoff Cameron and Englishman Ryan Shawcross.

Even with John Terry leaving the club, Zouma was likely to be second-choice in the back three for Chelsea and if he wants to make France’s squad for the 2018 World Cup, he’ll have to play regularly.

 

 

 

Morata signs five-year contract at Chelsea

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Chelsea FC will have another Spanish international leading the front line, with Diego Costa likely on his way out of town.

The club announced that Alvaro Morata has completed a transfer from Real Madrid, signing a five-year contract at Stamford Bridge. The BBC reports the transfer fee at nearly $78 million.

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“I am so happy to be here,” Morata said in a statement. “It’s an incredible emotion to be part of this big club. I am looking to work hard, score as many goals as I can and to win as many trophies as possible.”

Morata emerged as an option to replace Costa after Romelu Lukaku decided on joining Manchester United over his former club Chelsea. Morata, who was a Manchester United target at first, then turned his sights on London after becoming disillusioned in Madrid, playing second-fiddle to Karim Benzema.

Despite not being first-choice up top, Morata scored 15 goals in 26 La Liga games and another three in the UEFA Champions League, which Real Madrid went on to win over Morata’s former club Juventus. Morata started for Juventus the last time the club had been in the Champions League final.

Despite being just 24, Morata is emerging as one of the world’s top forwards. He has nine goals in 19 games for the Spanish National Team and now is the right time for him to experience the challenge of the Premier League, where the games come thick and fast and the pace of the game is a step up from what he’s experienced in Spain and Italy.

However, the tactical knowledge he’s learned in both places should help him in England, where he can position himself between the opposing centerbacks.

 

Report: Neymar tells Barcelona teammates he’s off to PSG

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Brazilian star Neymar isn’t keeping his future plans under wraps, at least when it comes to his current club teammates.

According to a report in French newspaper Le Parisien, Neymar has started telling his Barcelona teammates that he’s intends to join Paris Saint-Germain. Spanish publication Marca meanwhile is reporting that Neymar’s teammates are trying to persuade him to stay in Catalonia for the season.

The Le Parisien report adds that certain officials at Barcelona believe the transfer is imminent and are resigned to losing one of their stars this summer. The report also said that it was a “decisive step” that Neymar was on board with the deal, going along with his father and agent.

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Rumors intensified over the past few days as reports emerged in Spain that Neymar had agreed on a contract with PSG, and all that was awaiting was PSG exercising Neymar’s release clause, worth nearly $260 million (€222 million). On paper, PSG’s Qatari owners can probably afford that tremendous sum but it still remains to be seen whether PSG will see this move over the line.

Should Neymar move, it would break transfer records for the price of the deal as well as shock the world, as Neymar seemed settled and happy in Barcelona playing alongside the likes of fellow South Americans Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

Neymar and Barcelona are currently in New York training ahead of the club’s friendly match in the International Champions Cup against Juventus Saturday at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

Liverpool complete signing of Hull’s Robertson

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Liverpool has added to its defensive depth with the signing of one of Scotland’s bright young stars.

The club announced the signing of left back Andy Robertson for a reported $10.4 million, which can rise to $13 million with add-on clauses.

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Robertson made 33 appearances for Hull City last season in the Premier League, scoring a goal and assisting on two others. While Robertson is joining Liverpool, midfielder Kevin Stewart is heading the opposite direction, joining the Championship club for a reported $5.2 million.

Robertson will likely compete with Alberto Moreno for the starting left back position, and with Liverpool competing in the Premier League plus three cup competitions, depth at every position will be crucial when injuries and fatigue sets in.