Football Transfer News | Barcelona gets Lewandowski; Chelsea signs Koulibaly, and more

Bayern Munich confirmed on Saturday they have agreed a deal with Barcelona for the sale of Poland star Robert Lewandowski to the Spanish club.

Bayern Munich confirmed on Saturday they have agreed a deal with Barcelona for the sale of Poland star Robert Lewandowski to the Spanish club. | Photo Credit: twitter/@FabrizoRomano

Bayern Munich confirmed on Saturday they have agreed a deal with Barcelona for the sale of Poland star Robert Lewandowski to the Spanish club.

“We have a verbal agreement from Barcelona. It’s good for both sides that we have clarity,” Bayern president Herbert Hainer said on the club’s Twitter account.

“Robert is a very deserving player, he has won everything with us. We are incredibly grateful to him.”

Bayern did not give details but Spanish and German media reported the two-time FIFA men’s player of the year had agreed a four-year deal worth 50 million euros ($50.4m), including five million in potential add-ons.

Forward Lewandowski told German television he would be joining the Barcelona squad on their tour of the United States from July 18-31.

Media reported he would undergo his medical in Miami.

The agreement between the two teams closes the standoff with the 33-year-old who said at the end of May “it is certain that my story with Bayern has come to an end.”

Bayern had only offered Lewandowski a one-year extension to his contract, which expires in the summer of 2023.

He was also unhappy with the salary offered and had clashed with the Bavarian club’s coach Julian Nagelsmann over tactical choices.

Although he resumed training with Bayern a few days ago, Lewandowski arrived late each time, except this Saturday, when he took the opportunity to bid farewell to his teammates.

The official presentation of the Bayern squad then took place at 1500 local time (1300GMT) without him.

With his imminent arrival, Barcelona continue to strengthen with the ambition of returning to the forefront of the European scene.

He is the club’s fourth summer transfer after Ivory Coast midfielder Franck Kessie from AC Milan and Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen on a free transfer, and Brazil winger Raphinha, recruited for 70 million euro from Leeds.

A very generous transfer window for a club which suffered from an abysmal debt, exceeding one billion euros, a few months ago.

Double European top scorer, Lewandowski, who turns 34 next month, can bring experience to supervise a very young group, carried by Ansu Fati, Pedri, Gavi and Ferran Torres.

Lewandowski joined Bayern in 2014, scoring 344 goals in 375 competitive matches and broke the Bundesliga single-season scoring record.

He won the Bundesliga in each of his eight seasons with the club as well as the Champions League, the Club World Cup and three German Cups.

This season again, “Lewy” scored 42 goals in 50 matches in all competitions, including 35 goals in 34 league matches and 13 goals in 10 Champions League matches.

The striker’s official presentation to Barcelona is not expected to take place until they return to Catalonia in early August.

Defender Kalidou Koulibaly – who had been linked to Chelsea for the past several transfer windows – finally joined the Londoners after playing eight seasons in Serie A with Napoli, making 317 appearances and scoring 14 goals

Napoli’s Senegalese defender Kalidou Koulibaly. File

Napoli’s Senegalese defender Kalidou Koulibaly. File | Photo Credit: AFP

London Chelsea completed the signing of center back Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli on Saturday.

The Premier League club paid a fee reported to be 40 million euros ($40 million) for the 31-year-old Senegal international, who arrives at Stamford Bridge following the departures of defenders Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen.

Koulibaly, who signed a four-year contract, joined his new teammates in Las Vegas for their preseason tour of the United States.

Koulibaly played eight seasons with the Italian club, making 317 appearances and scoring 14 goals. He began his career with Metz in France and moved to Belgian club Genk for two seasons before joining Napoli.

"Chelsea came first to get me in 2016 but we didn't make it," Koulibaly said. “Now when they came to me I accepted it because they really wanted me to come to the Premier League to play for them.” Koulibaly will play in front of Senegal teammate and goalkeeper Edouard Mendy. Koulibaly is Senegal's captain and this year led the team to its first African Cup title.

Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly described Koulibaly as “one of the world's elite defenders... A great leader and an exemplary team player, Kalidou brings a wealth of experience and attributes that will benefit our squad and the club as a whole.”

Serge Gnabry offers Bayern good news by extending contract

Bayern Munich said on Saturday they had extended the contract of Germany winger Serge Gnabry until 2026, the news closely following the announcement of a deal to sell Robert Lewandowski to Barcelona.

Bayern announced the two developments in quick succession as they presented their squad for the upcoming season at the Allianz Arena.

Like Lewandowski, Gnabry’s future at Bayern had seemed to be in doubt but on Saturday both sides proclaimed how happy they were with the deal.

“I thought a lot about what I want as a player in the coming years, and came to the conclusion that I want to stay at Bayern, win everything again,” said Gnabry, who has won four Bundesliga titles as well as the Champions League, the World Club Cup and the German Cup at Bayern.

Shortly after wishing Lewandowski well at Barca, club president Herbert Hainer welcomed Gnabry’s new deal.

“It’s another strong signal that a player like Serge Gnabry sees his future at Bayern,” Hainer told Bayern’s website.

“With him, Sadio Mane, Thomas Mueller, Kingsley Coman, Leroy Sane and Jamal Musiala, Bayern have outstanding options on the flanks.”

Like Lewandowski, Gnabry had one more season left on his contract

In the end, both parties agreed on a new contract, which will allow the reigning German champions to keep their two main wingers for several years, as French international Kingsley Coman also extended his contract until 2027 earlier this year.

The Bavarians start their new season on July 30 with the German Super Cup at RB Leipzig.

Mumbai City FC announce the arrival of Alberto Noguera

Indian Super League side Mumbai City FC on Saturday announced the signing of Spanish mid-fielder Alberto Noguera for the upcoming season.

The 32-year-old joins the club on a one-year contract until May 2023. The Madrid-born mid-fielder came up through the ranks at Getafe before he was picked up by Atlético Madrid in July 2009, where he was instantly made the C team. He was called into train with the first team senior squad under Quique Sánchez Flores and went on to make his La Liga debut against Levante UD in 2011 Noguera left his native Spain in 2012 to explore playing opportunities abroad. He had short stints with Blackpool in England and FC Baku in Azerbaijan. However, in the summer of 2014, he returned to Spain for stints with CF Trival Valderas, CF Fuenlabrada and Lorca FC in the Spanish third tier.

He then joined CD Numancia and was subsequently loaned out to Racing de Santander in the third tier till the end of the 2018/19 season.

He joined FC Goa in 2020 and in his time in India, Noguera has lifted the 2021 Durand Cup and has four goals and 11 assists in the ISL.

“There is ambition and hunger to win at this club and the philosophy here is to play attacking and beautiful football. I have seen it from the outside in my two years in the ISL and now I’m ready to help bring success to the club,” Noguera said.

Head coach Des Buckingham said Noguera is a very experienced player who will also provide additional leadership to the group.

Manchester United agree deal to sign defender Lisandro Martinez from Ajax

Manchester United have reached a deal with Eredivisie champions Ajax Amsterdam to sign Argentine central defender Lisandro Martinez for 45 million pounds ($53 million), the BBC reported on Saturday.

The report added that Martinez has flown to Manchester to undergo a medical prior to his move.

The 24-year-old, who can also play in midfield, would be manager Erik ten Hag’s third signing following the arrivals of Dutch left back Tyrell Malacia and Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen.

He was a key figure for Ajax last season, making 36 appearances in all competitions and helping them to the league title and a runners-up finish in the Dutch Cup.

Ten Hag managed Martinez for three seasons at Ajax after the player moved to the Netherlands from Argentine side Defensa y Justicia in May 2019. Martinez made 118 appearances in all for the Dutch club.

Capped seven times by Argentina, he would bolster United’s defence, which conceded 57 goals last term - the most among the top six.

He could also give the manager an extra option in midfield after the departures of Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic.

United, currently on their pre-season tour in Australia, finished sixth last season. They open the new campaign at home to Brighton & Hove Albion on Aug. 7. 

Mesut Özil signs for Turkish club İstanbul Başakşehir

Former Real Madrid and Arsenal midfielder Mesut Özil signed with İstanbul Başakşehir on Thursday after leaving fellow Turkish club Fenerbahçe.

İstanbul Başakşehir said the deal with Özil was for a one-year contract with an optional extension for another year.

The move came a day after Fenerbahçe said the 33-year-old midfielder left by mutual agreement with two years remaining on his contract. He joined Fenerbahçe in January 2021 on a free transfer when Arsenal ended his contract early. He scored eight goals in 25 games last season but hadn’t been selected since March following a reported disagreement with the management.

İstanbul Başakşehir is in the Europa Conference League this season after finishing fourth in the Turkish league. Fenerbahçe was second.

Riyad Mahrez signs new Man City contract

Riyad Mahrez signed a two-year contract extension with Premier League champions Manchester City on Friday.

Algeria winger Mahrez has been rewarded with a new deal that keeps him at City until 2025 after helping them retain the English title.

Since arriving from Leicester for £60 million ($71 million) four years ago, Mahrez has made 189 appearances for Pep Guardiola’s side, scoring 63 goals and providing 45 assists.

The 31-year-old has won three Premier League titles, three League Cups and one FA Cup with City.

“I’m very happy to sign the new deal. I have enjoyed every single minute of my time here. It’s a pleasure to be part of such an incredible club,” Mahrez said.

“To have helped us achieve the success we have enjoyed in the past four seasons has been unforgettable and made us all hungry to look to achieve even more.

“I would also like to thank Pep, Txiki (Begiristain) and the coaching staff, both for the way they have helped me to develop as a player and for pushing me to continue to improve.

“Now I just want to try and play my part in helping us be successful next season and beyond.”

Mahrez scored 24 goals for City in all competitions last season and looks set to play a key role this term following the departures of Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling.

“Riyad has played a major part in our success in the four years since he joined us,” City director of football Txiki Begiristain said.

“He is one of the most exciting wingers operating in the game and we are all very excited to know he will be part of our ongoing drive to try and achieve more success.”

With input from agencies.

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Printable version | Jul 16, 2022 9:39:50 pm |