European transfer news: A uneventful January transfer window comes to a close
Old Trafford inks £47 million Bruno Fernandes deal
One of the quietest January transfer windows came to life in its final days when Manchester United signed in Bruno Fernandes for £47 million from Sporting Lisbon ending almost a year of speculation surrounding the 25-year old Portuguese’s move to Old Trafford. Fernandes wasn’t even able to catch a breath since landing in England, getting his signing, medical tests and starting his debut game for the Red Devils against the Wolves – all within 48 hours of his arrival. The prolific midfielder-cum-playmaker who has scored 64 goals from his 137 appearances for Lisbon is expected to lend creativity to the vital space for United where the likes Paul Pogba, Andreas Pereira and Jesse Lingard have failed.
While it could not be described as an explosive debut, Fernandes did enough to indicate he will improve as an offensive threat from the manner in which he was eager to get on the ball and take initiatives at set-pieces.
Meanwhile Juventus are looking to make a £150 million ($198m) bid for Liverpool star defender and Ballon d’Or nominee Virgil van Dijk. The 28-year old Dutch international is widely recognised as one of the cornerstones of Liverpool’s incredible recent record. The Serie A giants hope to offer Anfield a irresistible price that would make the Dutchman the sport’s most expensive defender ever.
PSV Eindhoven winger Steven Bergwijn reportedly turned down a £6 million ($8m) renewal contract with the Dutch club only to join London club Tottenham Hotspur before the January window closure. Bergwijn who is just 22, had featured in as many as 6 seasons for Eindhoven scored 31 goals from his 149 outings for the Dutch club.
Reports of another London side being under the radar is Arsenal. Rumours doing the rounds revolve around Arsenal’s top hitman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang apart from the likes of Granit Xhaka and Dani Ceballos. Aubameyang seems to have elicited Barcelona’s interest and the Catalan giants are reportedly all set to test Arsenal’s resolve this summer.
Frank Lampard of Chelsea is believed to be looking for a forward, but the ex-Blues veteran’s chase for top European strikers Dries Mertens (Napoli) and Edinson Cavani (Paris St. Germain) seems have come a cropper as both players have decided to stay put with their respective clubs for some seasons at least.
West Ham boss David Moyes’ close watch on Barcelona right-back Moussa Wague may have come to nothing with the Senegalese international moving to French club Nice in a reported £16 million move.
Rumour has it that Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil had the chance to move out of London with an offer on the table from a Qatari club on deadline day. However, any possible deal fell through after the Gunners blocked the move because of the lack of time to find a suitable replacement.
News from Old Trafford is that United are still looking to offload Paul Pogba with just a year of the Frenchman’s contract left to expire. The management is asking for a price of £84m but unfortunately for them, there seem to be no takers for the moment.