Clubs in a frenzy as transfer window closes

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IOL pic sep2 manchester united di maria van gaal Reuters Manchester United's new signing Angel Di Maria (left) poses for a photograph with manager Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford in Manchester, northern England. Picture: Darren Staples

London - Manchester United dominated Europe's transfer activity as the transfer deadline window slammed shut on Monday, manager Louis van Gaal taking his summer spending spree to more than 150 million pounds.

The former Netherlands coach, without a Premier League win this season and hammered 4-0 by third tier MK Dons in a League Cup match last week, signed versatile Ajax midfielder Daley Blind for 14 million pounds.

They also agreed a six-million-pound season-long loan deal with Monaco for Colombian striker Radamel Falcao.

“It is a real honour to sign for Manchester United,” Blind was quoted as saying on the United website (www.manutd.com), which confirmed the fee and said the 24-year-old had signed a four-year deal.

“I have been at Ajax since I was seven years old and I will always have very fond memories of the club and of my time there.

“Louis van Gaal is a tremendously talented coach. I have worked with him at Ajax and also for the Netherlands national team and I cannot wait to work with him at the biggest club in the world.”

Van Gaal said: “I am delighted Daley has signed. He is a very intelligent and versatile footballer.

“Daley is a great reader of the game, he has played under my philosophy over a number of years and he will be a great addition to the team.”

Last week, United broke the British transfer record in signing Angel Di Maria for 59.7 million pounds from Real Madrid. Monday's activities ended United's summer dealings which started in June with the 29-million-pound capture of midfielder Ander Herrera from Athletic Bilbao.

One player leaving United on Monday was Mexico striker Javier Hernandez who joined Real Madrid on a season-long loan after spending four years at the club, scoring 37 times in 102 Premier League appearances.

Most of Europe's top sides had done their big money deals before deadline day but a host of clubs took advantage of the frenzy that usually accompanies the end of the window.

Hull City broke their club record fee in completing the signing of 24-year-old Uruguay striker Abel Hernandez from Italian club Palermo on a three-year deal, with the option of a fourth year.

The exact fee was not revealed, but Hull confirmed it was more than the seven million pounds paid to Tottenham for Jake Livermore in June.

Hull also landed two midfielders on loan - Mohamed Diame from West Ham United and Gaston Ramirez from Southampton.

Crystal Palace's new manager Neil Warnock took Scottish international James McArthur from Championship (second tier) side Wigan Athletic on a three-year deal, shortly after snapping up Tottenham reserve defender Zeki Fryers.

“Thanks Wigan for an amazing four years. They will always have a place in my heart but time for a new chapter with Crystal Palace,” McArthur said on Twitter.

Newly-promoted Queens Park Rangers, whose manager Harry Redknapp is known for his extensive deadline day dealings, signed Brazilian international Sandro from Tottenham for an undisclosed fee.

The 25-year-old midfielder agreed a three-year deal, according to the QPR website (www.qpr.com).

Redknapp, who signed Sandro four years ago during his spell as manager at White Hart Lane, was delighted.

“Sandro's a proper footballer and a top class professional. He's an absolutely fantastic signing for us,” Redknapp said.

“He brings energy, aggression, power and quality. They call him the Beast. He's not only a top quality footballer, but a fantastic boy as well. He'll lead by example for us.”

Sandro admitted Redknapp played a key role in his decision to move across London from White Hart Lane.

“I like new challenges and this is one I'm really looking forward to. Working with Harry again, who I share a great relationship with, is very special to me,” he said.

Tottenham, under new manager Mauricio Pochettino, were also active in acquiring former France under-21 international midfielder Benjamin Stambouli and loaning Lewis Holtby to Hamburg SV.

Manchester City, big spenders in the past, released England defender Micah Richards to Serie A Fiorentina on loan.

“Now there are no more doubts. The wait is over,” the Italian side announced on their website (www.fiorentina.it).

They also let 29-year-old Spanish striker Alvaro Negredo, signed from Seville last year for 16.4 million pounds, leave on loan to Valencia.

Sunderland signed 26-year-old Argentine playmaker Ricky Alvarez, capped seven times for his country, from Inter Milan and Uruguay international defender Sebastian Coates from Liverpool on season-long loans.

Netherlands midfielder Marco van Ginkel, 21, left Chelsea to join AC Milan for the season on loan. He follows Fernando Torres out of Stamford Bridge, the Spanish striker joining the Italians on a two-year loan on Sunday. - Reuters



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