Barkley rejects Chelsea, Oxlade-Chamberlain joins Liverpool on frantic final day of Premier League transfer window
There were as many surprises in the transfers that didn’t happen on an exciting final day of the transfer window as there were in those that did get over the line
Ross Barkley became the latest player to reject a move to Premier League champions Chelsea, pulling out of a deal at the end of a summer transfer window in which English clubs spent more than £1.3 billion pounds (HK$13.15 billion).
Chelsea did manage to sign midfielder Danny Drinkwater from 2016 champions Leicester for a reported £35 million and defender Davide Zappacosta from Italian club Torino on Thursday. But missing out on the main targets may hamper Antonio Conte’s bid to defend the title and challenge in the Champions League.
The problems for Chelsea began in July when striker Romelu Lukaku opted to join Manchester United and Conte’s transfer plans further disintegrated in the last two days of the transfer window.
Barkley’s rejection stunned Chelsea after midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain opted to leave Arsenal for Liverpool and forward Fernando Llorente favoured a move to Tottenham from Swansea.
Everton owner Farhad Moshiri revealed that a transfer fee of £35 million had been agreed and Barkley had passed a medical examination when the midfielder changed his mind about moving.
“It’s a big surprise,” Moshiri told broadcaster Sky Sports, “but that’s football.”
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Liverpool bought Oxlade-Chamberlain for £35 million on deadline day, and made £26 million by selling defender Mamadou Sakho to Crystal Palace.
The 24-year-old Oxlade-Chamberlain allowed his Arsenal contract to enter its final season after rejecting offers to extend his six-year stay with a new deal.
“I know my choice might come as a surprise to many,” he said in a social media post, “... but I feel that this move is right for the next stage in my ongoing development.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain was part of the Arsenal team that was thrashed 4-0 by Liverpool on Sunday, his 132nd and last game with the London club.
He is leaving a team that will be playing in the Europa League this season to join a club that is back in the Champions League and started the Premier League by winning seven points from a possible nine.
At Liverpool, Oxlade-Chamberlain is likely to play as a midfielder – he was mostly used at wing back last season – but faces competition for starts from Jordan Henderson, Emre Can, Georginio Wijnaldum, James Milner and potentially Philippe Coutinho. Barcelona have been chasing Coutinho, and Spanish clubs have until Friday to complete their final business of 2017.
Oxlade-Chamberlain’s departure is a further setback for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who has seen his side lose two of its opening three league matches.
The one success for Wenger on deadline day was Alexis Sanchez’s mooted move to Manchester City failing to materialise. But Arsenal’s pursuit of Monaco winger Thomas Lemar ended in failure, with the France international in action on Thursday – and scoring – against the Netherlands in a World Cup qualifier.
The 32-year-old Llorente joined Tottenham on a two-year deal from Swansea in a move aimed at reducing the north London club’s reliance on Harry Kane for goals.
Tottenham further strengthened its squad ahead of its second-ever Champions League campaign by bringing in Ivory Coast right-back Serge Aurier from Paris Saint-Germain for a reported £23 million.
Aurier’s transfer was held up by complications regarding the defender’s work permit because he was sentenced to two months in prison last year for resisting arrest after leaving a Paris nightclub.
Aurier appealed against the sentence and never went to prison.
PSG had to leave him out of their Champions League squad for a match against Arsenal in London last season because he was refused entry by British authorities amid the ongoing case.
Aurier, who played 57 league games for PSG after joining from Toulouse initially on loan in 2014, is Tottenham’s second major defensive recruit after centre-back Davinson Sanchez from Ajax.
With Tottenham selling first-choice right-back Kyle Walker to Manchester City during the off-season, Aurier will compete with Kieran Trippier for a starting spot.
A quiet club as the transfer window closed was Manchester United. Jose Mourinho completed his business early, including signing Lukaku from Everton in July for £75 million.
Portugal winger Renato Sanches left Bayern Munich to join Swansea on loan in the most improbable move on the final day of Europe’s transfer window
The 20-year-old Sanches was being talked about as Portugal’s natural heir to Cristiano Ronaldo after helping his national team to win last year’s European Championship title, where he won the Young Player of the Tournament award.
Back then, the winger also joined Bayern on one of the biggest contracts in Bundesliga history for a transfer fee that could climb to about £69 million.
Now, Sanches will be playing for a Welsh team that might be relegation contenders in the Premier League this season. It is a remarkable coup for Swansea, one that was likely sealed by coach Paul Clement’s connections to Bayern.
Clement was assistant coach at Bayern during the first half of last season before taking over at Swansea.
Sanches failed to establish himself in his first season at Bayern, making 26 appearances in all competitions.
Another arrival at Swansea on Thursday was the return of a familiar face. Striker Wilfried Bony, who left for Manchester City in January 2015, is back in south Wales to replace Llorente.
Long-standing Liverpool target Virgil van Dijk will continue the season at Southampton after the centre-back couldn’t force his way out of the south-coast club despite handing in a transfer request.
West Bromwich Albion defender Jonny Evans was being pursued by Manchester City but the move never materialised.
Riyad Mahrez handed in a transfer request at Leicester days after the end of last season, and Algeria announced early on Thursday that the winger was given permission to leave the national squad to “formalise his transfer to his new club.” That move didn’t proceed.