Transfer Deadline Day: Five winners, five losers
Tom Adams analyses the big developments as the transfer window closes, and picks out the winners and losers from an underwhelming day.
Mark Hughes and Stoke fans – The biggest and most audacious deal of deadline day delivered Porto midfielder Giannelli Imbula to Stoke City for a fee of £18 million. Stoke smashed their club record to sign the 23-year-old, whose transfer from Marseille to Porto last summer was the most expensive in Portuguese history at €20m. Things haven’t quite worked out for the midfielder at Jose Mourinho’s old club, but he has bags of talent and Stoke fans will be enthused by capturing another player who could be performing at a higher level. Manager Mark Hughes is really making the most of the financial muscle provided by Premier League income, with Imbula following the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri, Bojan and Marko Arnautovic to the club. This was the biggest transfer anywhere in Europe in January.
Stoke's Ryan Shawcross in action with Sunderland's Steven FletcherReuters
Steven Fletcher - Four Premier League goals this season and the Sunderland striker managed to earn a move to one of Europe’s most storied clubs, and a team with some of the most passionate supporters in football. Fletcher is a beneficiary of the huge imbalance between the Premier League and Ligue 1, which has seen Marseille lose star players Dimitri Payet and Andre Ayew to mid-ranking Premier League clubs, and scratch around for Sunderland cast-offs to strengthen their squad. Still, what a move for the Scotland international who gets to forge a new life in the south of France.
Serdar TasciFrom Official Website
Bayern Munich – On a day which was overshadowed by the news that their coach will be joining Manchester City at the end of the season, it went somewhat unnoticed that the German giants were active in the market. Injuries to Jerome Boateng and Javi Martinez left Pep Guardiola desperately short at the back but the club beat the German deadline to sign an international defender with plenty of Bundesliga experience who, crucially, is eligible for the Champions League. Serdar Tasci isn’t the most eyecatching addition, on loan from Spartak Moscow, but he ticks all the right boxes as Bayern seek some short-term relief.
Arsenal's French defender Mathieu Debuchy (L) and Bayern Munich's Polish striker Robert Lewandowski vie for the ballAFP
Mathieu Debuchy - The Arsenal right-back was desperate to secure first-team football to help him regain his place in the France squad for Euro 2016, but despite persistent links with Sunderland and Aston Villa – and brief and bizarre deadline day rumours suggesting he could have joined Manchester United – he finally ended up sealing a move to Bordeaux. Debuchy ends his frustrating spell as Hector Bellerin’s back-up with a transfer which gives him the chance to rekindle his dream of representing his country on home turf this summer.
Jetzt ist es fix: Pep Guardiola wechselt zu Manchester CityAFP
Manchester City - Okay, so we are slightly cheating here, but there's no denying that the biggest story of deadline day was the club's announcement that Pep Guardiola will take charge at the end of the season. As a deadline day spoiler, it even eclipsed David Beckham's move to PSG in January 2013. Guardiola is a huge coup, and City's excellent day was complete when title rivals Arsenal failed to strengthen. Even across town, Manchester United failed to get anything done to alleviate the gloom around Old Trafford.
Newcastle are still interested in Saido Berahino, according to reportsPA Sport
Saido Berahino and West Brom - The departure of the disaffected striker had to be a priority for player and club but the window shuts and Berahino stays put. Interest from Tottenham never materialised while Newcastle apparently failed with an offer of £24 million with West Brom owner Jeremy Peace hoping Berahino will help the club stay up and then possibly go for an even bigger fee in the summer. Having been warned by Tony Pulis last week that he has "wasted three or four months" of his career, Berahino now has to decide whether he will knuckle down and salvage something from this non-event of a season, or see his value depreciate further as the months wear on. Not a good solution for either party, despite Peace's reluctance to sell. Oh, and his late-night tweet didn't exactly help.
Louis Van GaalReuters
Manchester United - United's huge spending has dominated much transfer activity over the past 18 months but a quiet January ended with a whimper. At one stage, United were said to be in "advanced talks" to sign Benfica wonderkid Renato Sanchez for €30m, but nothing materialised; no new spark to ignite their moribund season. Worse still, Manchester City announced the appointment of Guardiola - a development which could fundamentally shift the balance of power in the city.
Chelsea's Colombian striker Radamel Falcao takes part in a team training session at Chelsea's training ground in Cobham in south west LondonAFP
Radamel Falcao - Despite Guus Hiddink saying in the middle of January that his latest injury setback was "very serious", Falcao and his agent, Jorge Mendes, were reportedly out in Madrid trying to get Falcao a move to La Liga. Links with former club Atletico Madrid, where he scored 70 goals in 91 games between 2011 and 2013, were shot down by the Liga title contenders, and a potential hook-up with Valencia also failed to materialise, leaving Falcao stuck in his Chelsea hell for another four months.
Aston Villa manager Remi Garde is escorted onto the team coach after the game by policeReuters
Aston Villa – If Villa had any chance of pulling off a miracle and staying in the top flight they needed something big to happen in January. But deadline day was a complete non-event for the club, with even a work permit for Croatian goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic being denied. Seydou Doumbia chose Newcastle over Villa and manager Remi Garde was left despairing at the club’s inability to bring in new faces. "The situation of the team at the bottom of the table was not something easy to deal with for new players but it's not the only reason,” he said. "It was also a financial problem but it's not my job to explain that again. Probably the club realise mistakes have been made in the past and they didn't want to do it again.”
Loic Remy celebrates after scoring the first goal for ChelseaReuters
Loic Remy - Failed to secure his move from relegation-battlers Chelsea to top-of-the-table Leicester City. It could have been a big step up for the French striker. Seriously, though, Remy would have been a fine addition for the Foxes, who need more support for Jamie Vardy.