Transfer round-up: Frantic Friday featuring Nolito, Townsend, Mandanda and more


Holly Thackeray | July 1, 2016

Coral’s tasty transfer round-up

After Zlatan Ibrahimovic confirmed his upcoming move to Manchester United via social media late Thursday afternoon, Coral customers must have known it was going to be a crazy couple of days in the transfer market.

Some major, and surprising, moves have occurred between the Premier League and Championship, while their is also plenty of gossip from La Liga and Ligue 1 to get your teeth into.

So, keep up to date on all the latest movers and shakers as we round up the most recent transfers to have taken place across Europe on this frantic Friday…

Nolito given green light by Guardiola

The red half of Manchester are yet to officially confirm they have wrapped things up with Ibrahimovic, but the Sky Blues side were busy bright and early this morning as they announced the signing of Celta Vigo star Nolito.

After Spain crashed out of Euro 2016 to Italy, fomrer Barcelona wingers Nolito become Pep Guardiola’s second big signing this summer after Ilkay Gundogan. Man City are now 9/4 favourites with Coral to win the Premier League.

The Roja winger’s £13.8m release clause was met, with 29-year-old Nolito netting a four-year contract at the club and ensuring Guardiola is spoiled for choice up top. With the Spaniard added to options including Sergio Aguero, David Silva, Jesus Navas, Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Samir Nasri – surely something has to give?

Meanwhile, it was a case of one in, one out at the Etihad exit as Argentina defender Martin Demichelis (35) left the Citizens after the expiration of his contract following three years at the club and one Premier League title.

Giggs goes amid Red Devils revolution

Back to Man City’s rivals the Red Devils though, there was more departure news, as playing legend Ryan Giggs reportedly ended his 29-year association with the Premier League giants.

Having played his part in last season’s FA Cup-winning campaign, Giggs will not remain in his post as assistant manager in the Jose Mourinho era but leaves with fond memories from fans, amid links to a managerial job of his own.

Eagles double transfer swoop for Townsend and Mandanda

Despite seemingly missing out on Marseille marksman Michy Batshuayi, ambitious Crystal Palace have not rested on their laurels, stealing the headlines with a rapid recruitment drive.

First up was Andros Townsend, with the England-capped winger plucked from Newcastle United after their relegation to the Championship despite just half a season in the black and white stripes.

“I’m extremely delighted and pleased to be a part of Crystal Palace’s future,” Palace’s newest wideman recruit told press after he arrived at Selhurst Park for a mooted £13m.

Completing a cracking day of business for the Eagles was the signing of stopper Steve Mandanda, who was announced amid much fanfare after signing on as a free agent from French side Marseille.

Ligue 1’s goalkeeper of the season is still in France as back-up goalie for Les Bleus at Euro 2016, but Palace apparently staved off interest from the likes of Everton to land their man.

Newcastle in Ritchie vein of form

Not wanting to be outdone, Newcastle softened the Townsend blow for boss Rafa Benitez by snapping up Palace poacher Dwight Gayle, who joins in the opposite direction, and Bournemouth winger Matt Ritchie – both on five-year deals.

Gayle (25) had not always been a regular at Selhurst Park, making his mooted £10m move to the Championship a logical one. Though, Ritchie, snared for £12m was a key cog in the Cherries’ successful season and top-flight survival.

“When a club like Newcastle comes calling, I couldn’t pass up this opportunity,” said the Scotland international, 26, who had scrapped to keep south coast side Bournemouth safe.

Barca bag Umtiti, nab Neymar extension

It’s been a busy day in Spain too, as La Liga big-guns Barcelona agreed a fee of around £21m for Lyon’s left-footed centre back Samuel Umtiti, who is also currently on Euros duty with France. Bargain. President Josep Bartomeu announced the deal and it is believed the Frenchman, 22, has inked a five-year contract.

In a boost for the Catalan giants, Brazil superstar Neymar also renewed his contract for another five years after months of speculation, tying himself to the Spanish club until 2021.

PSG procure Ben Arfa

It’s all go in Ligue 1 as well, as Parisian rich kids PSG boasted their latest signing of mercurial French flank threat Hatem Ben Arfa on a Bosman, after his deal at Nice expired.

The one-time Lyon star will be remembered from a disastrous spell in England, but has excelled back in his homeland with 18 league strikes last season. A former Newcastle and Hull City player, the 29-year-old has penned a two-year contract in the French capital.

Wednesday wrap-up Fletcher

Back from his own French loan adventure, Scotland striker Steven Fletcher has finally left Sunderland on a permanent deal to join Championship team Sheffield Wednesday.

The Owls have nabbed the 29-year-old on a four-year contract after he was released by the Black Cats, as the Steel City side attempt another promotion push after narrowly missing out on Premier League riches with a loss to Hull in the play-off final.


Keep up to date on the latest deals on our Premier League page.

Or, see our La Liga section for more on Spanish transfers.

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