Manchester United have signed former Paris St Germain striker Edinson Cavani on a free transfer with the Uruguay international penning a one-year deal, with an option to extend for a further 12 months, the Premier League club said on Monday.
United's humiliating 6-1 defeat at home by Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday had increased the pressure on chief executive Ed Woodward to give manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer some new options.
Cavani becomes United's fourth signing of the close season after the Old Trafford club signed midfielder Donny van de Beek from Ajax Amsterdam and left back Alex Telles from Porto and Ivorian winger Amad Diallo from Atalanta.
Cavani, who left Ligue 1 champions PSG after his contract expired last season, is the French club's most prolific scorer with 200 goals but has not played since March -- prior to the league season being cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 33-year-old did not feature in PSG's run to the Champions League final either when the tournament restarted in August after media reports said he declined to sign a short-term contract extension in June.
"Manchester United is one of the greatest clubs in the world, so it is a real honour to be here," Cavani, who has scored 50 times in 116 appearances for Uruguay, told the club's website.
"I've worked really hard during the time off and I feel eager to compete and represent this incredible club."
Cavani's signing comes after United's interest in Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho did not bear any fruit this year, with the German club refusing to part with the highly-rated England international.
However, Cavani offers United a different option up front in attack compared to Anthony Martial and the club will hope he can provide a springboard like his ex-PSG strike partner Zlatan Ibrahimovic did when he arrived in 2016.
Ibrahimovic, who also moved on a free transfer at the age of 34, scored 28 goals and provided 10 assists in his debut season with United, leading the club to the League Cup and Europa League.
Cavani's arrival will also be seen as United covering their bases with Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo set to return to Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua when his loan ends in January.
"His goalscoring record for club and country is fantastic and we are delighted to sign a player of his calibre," Solskjaer said.
"He'll bring energy, power, leadership and a great mentality to the squad but, most importantly, he'll bring goals.
"He has had a brilliant career so far, winning trophies at almost every club he has played for, and he still has so much more to give at the highest level."
United are 16th in the standings with a game in hand heading into the international break.
Manchester United agree deal to sign teenage winger Diallo from Atalanta
Manchester United have reached an agreement with Italian side Atalanta to sign Ivorian forward Amad Diallo, the Premier League club announced on Monday.
Sky Sports reported United will pay an initial 21 million euros ($24.75 million) plus 20 million euros in add-ons for the 18-year-old winger.
United confirmed Diallo will join at a later date, subject to a medical, personal terms and work permit.
After rising through the academy ranks, Diallo scored on his Serie A debut for Atalanta in the first of three first-team appearances last season.
He becomes United's second signing of the transfer deadline day following the arrival of Brazil full back Alex Telles from Porto.
Arsenal secure big-money Partey move
Premier League side Arsenal completed the biggest move of transfer deadline day as they secured the 50 million euro ($58.90 million) signing of Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid, both sides announced on Monday.
The Gunners announced the deal at 23:15 local time via social media.
An Arsenal statement said that the Ghana international, who will wear the No. 18 shirt, has signed a "long-term deal". Local media reported that it was a four-year deal with the option for a further 12 months "subject to the completion of regulatory processes," which is expected to be a formality.
"La Liga on Monday informed Atletico Madrid at 23:28 that representatives from Arsenal arrived at the footballing body's headquarters looking to meet Thomas Partey's release clause," read a statement on Aletico's website just before the midnight CET deadline.
"Thus, the player has unilaterally ended his work contract that he had signed with the club through to 30 June 2023."
Under La Liga rules all players must have a buyout clause in their contracts and any club wishing to activate it must deposit the full amount with the Spanish league, who release the player's registration before passing the fee onto the selling club.
Partey, 27, joined the Spanish side's youth academy in 2012 and has gone on to establish himself as an integral part of Diego Simeone's side since making his debut in 2015.
In a separate deal, Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreria has joined Atleti on a season-long loan deal, while out-of-favour Frenchman Matteo Guendouzi also left the Emirates Stadium for Hertha Berlin on loan.
Everton's Walcott seals return to Southampton on season-long loan
Southampton agreed a deal with Everton to bring in Theo Walcott on a season-long loan on Monday, with the England winger making an emotional return to his boyhood club after nearly 15 years.
Walcott became the youngest player to feature for Southampton when he made his first-team debut in August 2005, at only 16 years and 143 days, and his instant impact at St Mary's helped him secure a move to Arsenal five months later.
British media reports said several Premier League clubs were interested in signing Walcott, who has struggled for first-team opportunities under Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti.
But the 31-year-old said it was an easy decision to make once Southampton came calling.
"I will probably cry, I bet, when I first play, and it means so much," Walcott said in a statement.
"Southampton came in for me, it's part of me and has made me into the player I am. It's in my heart.
"To get the chance to work with the manager as well and these young players that are coming through, I feel like I’ve made the right choice."
Walcott's arrival adds depth to Southampton's attacking options as manager Ralph Hasenhuettl looks to build on the club's 11th-placed league finish last season.
"Theo is someone who has all the qualities to fit well into our team and our style of play," Hasenhuettl said.
"His experience and influence will also be important for our young players. The idea is not to block their development, but for this to make it faster."
Rafinha joins PSG from Barca
There were other moves across European clubs.
European champions Bayern signed right back Bouna Sarr from Olympique de Marseille and brought back Brazilian winger Douglas Costa on loan from Juventus.
The right back position had long been a focus for Bayern, who won the Bundesliga and Champions League last season and the 28-year-old Sarr joins from Marseille on a four year contract.
"Bouna Sarr is a dynamic right back who fits in very well with the way we approach our game. He'll help us in an important position," said Bayern's board member for sport Hasan Salihamidzic.
Douglas Costa left Bayern for Juventus three years ago and will add to the club's already impressive options in the wide areas.
Paris Saint Germain signed 27-year-old Brazilian midfielder Rafinha from Barcelona on a three-year deal.
Brazil international Rafinha, younger brother of Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara, came through the famed La Masia academy at Barca and won three La Liga titles with the Spanish club.
He spent the past two campaigns on loan at Inter Milan and Celta Vigo.
Spanish media reports say the deal is worth up to three million euros ($3.54 million) in variables.
The 27-year-old is PSG's second transfer deadline day signing after the arrival of defensive midfielder Danilo Pereira on loan from Porto.
Everton, who have had a 100% start to the season and lead the Premier League, added another defender to their squad with centre-back Ben Godfrey joining from Norwich City.
Carlo Ancelotti's team also brought in Sweden goalkeeper Robin Olsen on a season-long loan from AS Roma.
In Italy, the biggest move of the day was Juventus signing Fiorentina winger Federico Chiesa in a 50 million euro ($58.92 million) deal.
The 22-year-old was raised at Fiorentina and is the son of former player Enrico Chiesa who was in the team which won Fiorentina’s last major trophy, the Coppa Italia in 2001.
Juve’s major signing for this season was Brazilian midfielder Arthur from Barcelona. They have also signed Alvaro Morata from Atletico Madrid and U.S. midfielder Weston McKennie from Schalke 04.
Napoli signed striker Tiemoue Bakayoko from Chelsea on loan, re-uniting with manager Gennaro Gattuso, who was at AC Milan when the Frenchman spent a spell on loan at the San Siro.