Barcelona announced Wednesday it has reached a deal to sign Leeds playmaker Raphinha and will also keep France forward Ousmane Dembélé at the club.
The agreement to sign Brazil international Raphinha was pending the 25-year-old winger passing a medical. Leeds also confirmed it had reached an agreement in principle with Barcelona.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta also said the club is keeping Dembélé, who is expected to have his contract extended until the end of 2024. Dembélé performed well this past season after refusing to leave on a loan.
Laporta did not answer questions on whether Barcelona was still trying to sign Robert Lewandowski from Bayern Munich. Laporta said recently that Barcelona had made an offer for the striker.
The Catalan club has been recovering after enduring a dire financial situation prompted by the pandemic with past club officials also blamed for poor administration.
Financial details of the Raphinha transfer were not immediately disclosed, but local media said Barcelona would pay nearly €60 million ($60 million) plus add-ons. - PTI
Chelsea snaps up Raheem Sterling
England forward Raheem Sterling has joined Chelsea on a five-year contract from Manchester City, the two Premier League clubs announced on Wednesday. The deal is worth up to £50 million pounds ($59.60 million), according to British media reports.
“I’ve obviously achieved a lot in my career so far, but there is still so much more to achieve and I’m really looking forward to doing that in a Chelsea shirt,” Sterling told the club website.
“London is my home and where it all started for me, and it’s amazing I now have the opportunity to play in front of friends and family week in, week out at Stamford Bridge.”
Sterling becomes Chelsea’s first signing under the new ownership led by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital, who officially took over from Russian Roman Abramovich at the end of May.
The 27-year-old played 47 games in all competitions for City last season, scoring 17 times and providing nine assists. - Reuters
Mesut Ozil switches Turkish clubs
Germany’s 2014 World Cup-winning star Mesut Ozil has joined Istanbul Başakşehir on a free transfer after the 33-year-old midfielder terminated his contract with Fenerbahce.
Ozil fell out with Fenerbahce’s management and was left out of the first team since March. He joined the club in January 2021 from Arsenal, where the player was left out in the cold for over nine months after a lengthy dispute with the club hierarchy.
The gifted playmaker, who is of Turkish origin, had ended his international career after what he described as “racist” attacks following the holders’ first-round exit at the 2018 World Cup.
He had come in for strong criticism in Germany after posing for a photograph with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2018.
Arturo Vidal joins Brazil’s Flamengo on a free transfer
Chile international Arturo Vidal has joined Brazilian club Flamengo on a free transfer after two seasons at Inter Milan.
“Today a dream I had all my life comes true. Now I am Mengão,” Vidal posted on Instagram, making a reference to Flamengo’s nickname.
Vidal attended Flamengo’s 2-0 home win Wednesday against Atletico Mineiro, which put the Rio de Janeiro club through to the quarterfinals of the Brazilian Cup. Uruguay international Giorgian de Arrascaeta scored both goals. Mineiro had won the first leg 2-1.
Brazilian media said the 35-year-old midfielder’s contract with Flamengo will run until December of next year.
Vidal started his professional career for Chilean giants Colo Colo in 2005. Two years later, he moved to Bayer Leverkusen. He left for Juventus in 2011, joined Bayern Munich in 2015 and signed for Barcelona in 2018.
He has won league titles in Italy (4), Germany (3) and Spain (1).
Vidal lifted Copa America trophies with Chile in 2015 and ‘16, and played for the national team at World Cups in 2010 and ‘14. - AP