The summer transfer window will close on Monday and since the last bombastic-summary-cum-carnival of player registration happenings otherwise known as TLO's Transfer Round-Up, Liverpool have added Mario Balotelli for a bargain and sold Daniel Agger for a bargain. The speed and unexpected circumstances surrounding the deals further underline the unpredictability of the transfer window. Each window, a deal that surprises onlookers constantly arises from what appears to be the nether regions of the expected. What will the final day of the transfer window bring that will astound or confound us all?
Manchester United continue to spend with abandon.
After breaking the British transfer record to sign Ángel Di María, Manchester United continue to look for more players. The chastening midweek thrashing received by League One side MK Dons has been recently followed with a disappointing draw away to Burnley in the club's third Premier League match for a poor two points from three presumed "easy" games. Now Louis van Gaal's side has agreed a deal with Ajax for the services of the versatile Daley Blind. The fee is £13.8 million and there will be more.
Manchester United is delighted to announce it has reached agreement with Ajax to sign Daley Blind, subject to a medical and personal terms.
So the club statement has confirmed that Blind's arrival is imminent but what of the departures to balance some of the summer's gargantuan gross and net spend? The immensely talented Shinji Kagawa is close to being finally freed from two seasons of maddening misuse and it is his old club, Borussia Dortmund, that will do the football world a great service. Former BVB captain Sebastian Kehl rightly stated that the Japanese international would be welcomed back to the German giants. The fee is believed to be in the region of £6 million, maybe more but it's a steal for Jürgen Klopp. Tom Cleverley has been subject to interest from clubs, a shock in itself, and should be on the move soon. Hull City have joined Aston Villa and Valencia in the chase for the much maligned midfielder. Using that stock football phrase felt right and it's always good to go for tried and tested at the end of the day.
The futures of the injured Marouane Fellaini, the underused Javier Hernández, and the underrated Danny Welbeck may lie elsewhere at the start of September.
Chelsea doing the striker rounds.
Diego Costa arrived, Samuel Eto'o was released after not being offered a new contract, Romelu Lukaku was sold for a big fee yet remained in England, a hero returned in the form of Didier Drogba, and Demba Ba sojourned to Turkey for a relatively cheap transfer fee. However, that movement wasn't enough to refresh the squad so Chelsea have made more moves in the striker position. Fernando Torres, the former British transfer record holder, has joined AC Milan to replace Mario Balotelli. One former Liverpool striker to replace Liverpool's newest striker.
Torres had two years on his Chelsea contract and was being paid a handsome £175,000 a week so there had to be some form of compromise for the deal to happen as AC Milan were not going to pay a large fee nor match the Spanish international's wages. A two-year deal in what has been described as a loan for the 30-year-old striker who has two years remaining on his deal seems to be the compromise. Torres' time at Chelsea is over but he got the money and trophies he was looking for.
Another Liverpool link is the identity of Torres' replacement at Chelsea. Liverpool had agreed a deal to sign QPR striker Loïc Rémy but that crumbled in late July as he failed a stringent medical. However, Rémy has been granted the ideal move as he will get to stay in London and play for a Champions League club after Chelsea triggered his release clause as Liverpool did earlier last month. He was left out of the squad that won at home to Sunderland and the transfer deadline king Harry Redknapp confirmed that a move was virtually completed.
The deal looks like it has been done, so I had to make a change. Loic Remy. He was in the team. I just got a phone call about 12 o'clock to say it looks like he is going to be moving. He didn't refuse to play, but it's difficult to go out there to play and get your head around it.
In other news...
Arsène Wenger believes that he has "too many strikers" at the club in the wake of the dashing Olivier Giroud's long-term injury. Pep Guardiola has been behind a few moves for Bayern Munich, a side that is run by committee and with numerous influential voices within and around the club. Xabi Alonso's move to Bayern to replace Toni Kroos adds to the growing Spanish contingent at the club. Pepe Reina and Alonso will form a Liverpool old boys duo over there with this column's very best wishes. A couple of days earlier, the highly-rated centre back Mehdi Benatia, moved to the German champions for an undisclosed fee but one can be sure that the Moroccan international was an expensive acquisition. Roma replaced Benatia with another defender of continental repute as Kostas Manolas moved from Olympiakos to the capital club for £10.3 million. Roma probably cleared at least £10 million from the deals and remain strong in defence. That's another defender expensively sold for the benefit of the club. Will Manolas follow Marquinhos and Benatia out of the club for sizeable profit in the future?
Noel will rejoice for Alex Song will not be joining Liverpool and Conor will too! Alex Song has pitched up at...Alex Song will grace...Alex Song's temporary home is...West Ham United! Sam Allardyce has done it again. His personality and force of character has attracted one of football's bigger names to a stage that may not initially appear to be a good fit. The Cameroonian signs on loan and rumours of Barcelona being desperate for the midfielder to leave earlier in the month brought news of a free loan being on offer for any potential club. Still, interest did not materialise from Champions League clubs it seems and Song had to most likely lower his expectations. That's where West Ham come in and Alex Song celebrated his move by lying to impress his new fanbase.
I think the club has very good ambition and I hope we can maybe catch the European positions.
Is "lol" appropriate here? Anyway, it's a good move for West Ham and he'll join the likes of Mark Noble, Mohamed Diamé, and Cheikhou Kouyaté in midfield. Oh, and Saphir Taider is leaving Southampton after just three weeks. That loan worked out well then.