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Rediff.com  » Sports » Transfer watch: City sign Laporte for club-record fee; Gunner Giroud joins Chelsea

Transfer watch: City sign Laporte for club-record fee; Gunner Giroud joins Chelsea

Last updated on: January 31, 2018 23:02 IST

Aymeric Laporte

IMAGE: Aymeric Laporte poses with his jersey after signing for Manchester City. Photograph: Manchester City/Twitter

Manchester City have signed French central defender Aymeric Laporte from Spanish club Athletic Bilbao, the Premier League leaders said on Tuesday.

British newspapers reported that City paid a club-record 57 million pounds ($81 million) for the 23-year-old Laporte who has signed a contract until 2023.

 

The club's previous record fee was 55 million pounds paid to Wolfsburg for midfielder Kevin de Bruyne in 2015.

"I am very happy to be here," Laporte said in a club statement. "City are a club with a lot of ambition and they are one of the best teams in Europe.

"I am looking forward to working under Pep Guardiola and trying to help the Club to achieve success.

"It means a lot that the Club have shown faith in me and I am excited to get started."

City coach Guardiola wanted to add another centre back to his squad to challenge Nicolas Otamendi and John Stones with ongoing injury concerns surrounding captain Vincent Kompany.

Laporte, a left-footed defender, was a first-team regular at Bilbao since breaking through in the 2012-13 season and he helped them win the 2015 Spanish Super Cup. He clocked up a total of 222 appearances for the Basque club, scoring 10 goals.

On the international stage, Laporte has featured 19 times for France at Under-21 level.

Laporte becomes City's sixth signing of the season following the arrival of Ederson, Danilo, Kyle Walker, Benjamin Mendy and Bernardo Silva at the start of the campaign.

Speaking at a news conference ahead of Wednesday's league clash against West Bromwich Albion, Guardiola said Laporte has all the attributes required to adapt to the demands of the English game.

"We are very aware of his skills. He's an experienced central defender on the big stages and has the skills to help us," Guardiola said.

"He will be able to start right away. The Premier League is special in many senses. But he is intelligent.

"It's always tough for a new player but we will be patient with him. He is the perfect age to be with us for a while."

Arsenal’s Giroud joins Chelsea on 18-month deal

Olivier Giroud signs his contract with Chelsea

IMAGE: Olivier Giroud signs his contract with Chelsea FC. Photograph: Premier League/Twitter

Chelsea have reinforced their attacking line with the signing of French striker Olivier Giroud from Arsenal on an 18-month contract, the Premier League clubs confirmed on Wednesday.

"Chelsea is one of the biggest teams in the Premier League," the 31-year-old said in a statement.

"They have won maybe the most trophies in the last six or seven years. It's a massive club and I am proud to sign for Chelsea, and I'm looking forward to playing."

Giroud has found it difficult to cement a place in the Arsenal starting line-up this season, with manager Arsene Wenger preferring to start Alexandre Lacazette as a lone striker.

Giroud has made 16 appearances in the league, with 15 of them coming as a substitute. He joined Arsenal from French side Montpellier in 2012 and his goal tally has hit double figures in each of his last five seasons.

Chelsea sign Brazilian Emerson from Roma

Emerson Palmieri

IMAGE: Brazilian left-back Emerson Palmieri joined Chelsea. Photograph: Chelsea FC/Twitter

Chelsea have signed Brazilian left back Emerson Palmieri from AS Roma on a four-and-a-half-year contract, the Premier League club said on Tuesday.

The 23-year-old, who can also play in a more advanced role on the left flank, cost Chelsea a reported fee of 17.6 million pounds ($24.9 million) and will offer manager Antonio Conte an alternative to Marcos Alonso.

"I came here because it’s a great team with a great history. Today I am realising one of my dreams to pull on the shirt of such a great club," Emerson told the club's official website (www.chelseafc.com).

"English football is something I have been watching since I was 15 years old. It is a really beautiful game over here but it is going to be even more beautiful to play it," he added.

British newspapers reported on Tuesday that Chelsea were close to signing France striker Olivier Giroud from Arsenal.

Arsenal sign Aubameyang in club record transfer

Gabon's Pierre Emerick Aubameyang

IMAGE: Gabon's Pierre Emerick Aubameyang. Photograph: Kaz Photography/Getty Images

Arsenal have signed striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Borussia Dortmund on a long-term contract for a club-record fee, the Premier League club said.

British media reported that the deal was around 56 million pounds ($79.2 million), eclipsing the 46.5 million pounds paid to French side Olympique Lyonnais for forward Alexandre Lacazette last year.

Aubameyang has scored 98 goals in 144 Bundesliga games for the German side and had a hand in 172 goals in 213 matches in all competitions for his former club.

The 28-year-old is Gabon's all-time top goalscorer with 23 goals from 56 matches and was named the African Footballer of the Year in 2015.

Chelsea's Batshuayi seals loan switch to Dortmund

"Heard the Batman job was vacant @BVB so I decided to take over... Hallo Bundesliga wie gent es dir?!" Batshuayi tweeted along with this picture

IMAGE: "Heard the Batman job was vacant @BVB so I decided to take over... Hallo Bundesliga wie gent es dir?!" Batshuayi tweeted along with this picture. Photograph: Michy Batshuayi/Twitter

Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi has moved to Borussia Dortmund on loan until the end of the season, the Premier League club announced on Wednesday.

Belgium international Batshuayi made 53 appearances for Chelsea in all competitions since joining the club from Olympique de Marseille in July 2016, scoring 19 goals.

The 24-year-old, who represented his country at Euro 2016, hopes regular first-team action will help his chances of featuring more prominently at this year's World Cup in Russia.

"In order to achieve my big objective, I want to play as much as possible and score many goals. The World Cup is taking place in the summer," he said in a statement.

Batshuayi, who has scored 10 goals in all competitions this season, took advantage of a rare start to score twice as Chelsea eased past Newcastle United 3-0 at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup last weekend.

The German side will hope Batshuayi can fill the boots of the prolific Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, after the Gabon striker earlier completed a switch to Arsenal.

Watford winger Isaac Success agrees loan move to Malaga

Watford winger Isaac Success has agreed to join Spanish side Malaga on a loan deal until the end of the season, the Premier League club said on Wednesday.

Success, who made 19 appearances and scored one goal for Watford last season, has struggled to break into the team and has featured once in the current campaign, in the 3-2 League Cup second round defeat by BristolCity in August.

Success, a 22-year-old Nigerian, signed for Watford from Granada in 2016 and will link up with the Spanish club's former manager Jose Gonzalez who is now in charge at Malaga.

Malaga are bottom of La Liga with 13 points from 21 games. Watford are 11th in the Premier League with 26 points and appointed Spaniard Javi Gracia as manager this month after sacking Marco Silva.

Inter Milan defender Nagatomo set to join Galatasaray

Galatasaray are in talks for the loan of Inter Milan veteran defender Yuto Nagatomo, the Turkish top-flight club said.

"Official transfer talks have been started with football player Yuto Nagatomo and his club FC Internazionale Milano regarding the temporary transfer of the player" said the Istanbul-based side in a statement.

The Japan international, capped 101 times, joined the Serie A club from AC Cesena in 2011.

The 31-year-old has made 11 appearances in the league so far this season for Inter, who are currently fourth in the standings on 44 points.

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