Late flurry of signings lights up deadline day

Late flurry of signings lights up deadline day

Fulham signalled their determination to stay in the English Premier League by becoming the first promoted team to spend over 100 million pounds (US$128 million) in the summer transfer window.

But manager Mauricio Pochettino insisted he is happy with his squad after tying down the likes of Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen and Son Heung-min to new contracts.

Likely to sit the deepest in his manager's preferred midfield three, Sarri will be hoping the midfielder can exert similar influence on his new side having made more passes than any other player in Europe's top five leagues last season.

Sterling only began his pre-season preparations on Monday after enjoying an extended break following his participation at the World Cup where he helped England reach the semi-finals before their defeat to Croatia.

Barcelona made several bids for the player but never matched Chelsea's asking price and when it seemed the Catalans could not go further after their third bid of £65m was rejected by Chelsea, they chose to settle for a lesser valued, Bordeaux player Malcom as replacement, while Willian returned to Chelsea after his World Cup break.

While overall spend may be down, Premier League clubs did spend a record £880 million to transfer-in players from overseas clubs (compared to £770 million in 2017).

Chelsea shattered the world record fee for a goalkeeper with an 80-million euro (£71.6 million, $92 million) swoop for Athletic Bilbao's Kepa Arrizabalaga on Wednesday to replace Belgian global Thibaut Courtois, who has joined European champions Real Madrid.

The highest-profile deal at that stage was midfielder Mateo Kovacic joining Chelsea on loan from Real Madrid - with goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois going the other way permanently.

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Last season's top-two teams spent nothing on Thursday.

Football finance expert Rob Wilson of Sheffield Hallam University said: "Clubs invested heavily past year when we saw nearly £1.5bn being spent".

Dan Hughes hopes Mourinho allows the team to "express themselves" and plays an attacking game the "United way", stating the club have a good team at their disposal even with no new defensive signings.

Yerry Mina's £27m move to Everton from Barcelona was the day's big transfer.

Everton took their transfer spending past 270 million in the last 12 months after making three late additions.

Liverpool has splashed the cash on Fabinho, Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri in an effort to dethrone Manchester City for the English Premier League title this season.

Mourinho warned last weekend that a "difficult season" could lie ahead if they failed to strengthen the squad before the deadline, but an inflated market has made the challenge of improving defensively an even tougher ask.

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