Arsenal and Man United splash out on big signings as transfer window closes

Arsenal capture Oezil for a club record feeand Fellaini moves to Manchester United

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 03 September, 2013, 9:27am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 September, 2013, 3:12am


After having all summer to strengthen their squads, Arsenal and Manchester United finally managed to rush through two significant signings in a US$100 million spree as the transfer window was closing.

Arsenal signed playmaker Mesut Oezil for a club record €50 million (HK$512 million) from Real Madrid, and United bought midfielder Marouane Fellaini from Everton for £27.5 million (HK$332 million).

The transfers pushed spending by Premier League clubs to more than £600 million over the summer, a record, on the back of new lucrative television deals.

Arsenal's recruitment of Oezil on a five-year deal was a coup, and the 24-year-old German's arrival is an emphatic response by American owner Stan Kroenke to supporters who have demanded big spending.

Fans had watched in frustration throughout the summer as north London rivals Tottenham spent more than US$150 million on seven players, while Arsenal's only permanent recruits were the free signings of Yaya Sanogo and Mathieu Flamini.

But after manager Arsene Wenger missed out on Gonzalo Higuain, Luis Suarez and Yohan Cabaye, the Gunners have pulled off the big-name signing promised in June when they said there would be an "escalation in our financial firepower".

Oezil's fee easily outstrips Arsenal's previous largest transfer - £15 million for Andrey Arshavin in 2009 - and the club hope he will help to produce their first trophy since 2005.

"We have signed a world-class player who is one of Europe's brightest young talents," chief executive Ivan Gazidis said. "Mr Kroenke ... has always fully supported Arsene and the club in making significant investments to strengthen our squad and to bring in talented players who fit our style and ambitions.

"Like all of us, Mr Kroenke wants to see Arsenal winning titles and trophies and he has absolute faith and belief in our manager to achieve that. We will continue to work towards that goal and look forward to an exciting season."

United, though, have been frustrated in their bid to spend before transfer activity was halted until January. Fellaini is the only notable signing since David Moyes replaced Alex Ferguson as manager at the end of last season.

Moyes turned to former club Everton, after being unable to mark the start of his reign with a marquee signing. Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas was pursued for several weeks and the champions failed in high-profile attempts on Monday to bring Real Madrid defender Fabio Coentrao to Old Trafford.

"When I was given the opportunity to work with [Moyes] again, I jumped at the chance," Fellaini said.

The biggest Premier League spenders of the summer were Tottenham, who splurged more than £110 million on seven players in their bid to break back into the top four and qualify for the Champions League.

The spending spree was largely funded by Gareth Bale being sold to Real Madrid for a world-record €100 million. But to subsidise that signing, Madrid had to offload players, and Tottenham's bitter rivals Arsenal were a beneficiary with the capture of Oezil.

It was double blow for Tottenham, having lost the derby to Arsenal on Sunday.

Unbeaten leaders Liverpool were active on deadline day, building on a strong start to the season that has seen the team open the Premier League with three straight wins for the first time since 1993.

The defensive options were enhanced with France international Mamadou Sakho signed from Paris Saint-Germain, and Tiago Ilori, who has represented Portugal at youth age groups, arriving from Sporting Lisbon. The duo cost a reported £25 million.

Winger Victor Moses is at Anfield on a season-long loan after seeing his chances of first team action at Chelsea plummet following the arrival of forwards Willian and Andre Schuerrle.

Liverpool sent striker Fabio Borini on a season-long loan to Sunderland, while another Italian, former Anfield left back Andrea Dossena, joined the northeast club from Napoli.

While raising money from the sale of Fellaini, Everton signed midfielder James McCarthy from Wigan for £13 million and brought Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku and Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry in on season-long loans. New City manager Manuel Pellegrini was looking to offload Barry after spending more than £90 million rebuilding the 2012 champions' squad which ended last season without a trophy.

West Bromwich Albion added two forwards to their squad, with Victor Anichebe arriving from Everton in a deal worth up to £6 million and Stephane Sessegnon coming from Sunderland. France midfielder Morgan Amalfitano is on board too after being recruited for the season from Marseille.

A striker left the Hawthorns, with Peter Odemwingie leaving for Premier League rivals Cardiff for around £2 million.

Stoke signed Austria forward Marko Arnautovic from Werder Bremen, and Fulham brought Montenegro defender Elsad Zverotic from Swiss side Young Boys.