This week in transfers: Bogdan and Ings landed by Liverpool
Liverpool, 5/2 chances with Coral for a top four Premier League finish next season, have bolstered their ranks at either end of the field this week with Bosman moves for Bolton Wanderers goalie Adam Bogdan and Burnley striker Danny Ings.
Hungary stopped Bogdan, 27, became Reds boss Brendan Rodgers’ third summer signing following the earlier Anfield arrivals of England midfielder James Milner and Under-21 international Ings, both also on free transfers.
Although striker Ings’ contract at the Clarets is up, the Turf Moor team are entitled to compensation as he is younger than 24. If Liverpool and Burnley cannot agree a fee, then an FA tribunal will set it.
Bogdan has been brought to Merseyside to provide competition for Simon Mignolet after Liverpool released Australian keeper Brad Jones.
Barcelona, 10/3 favourites to retain the Champions League in 2015/16, have splashed an inital £13m on converted Sevilla full back Aleix Vidal. He could cost Luis Enrique’s men as much as £16m if add-ons and bonuses are met.
Catalonia native Vidal has been handed a five-year Nou Camp contract, but he cannot play for Barca until January 2016 because of a transfer ban.
It remains to be seen whether Vidal, 25, will be loaned back to Europa League winners Sevilla for the first half of next term, but should Barcelona allow this they are unlikely to grant the player permission to turn out in the Champions League as this would cup-tie him.
Vidal will compete with Dani Alves, who recently committed his future to Catlana club Barca, for the right back berth. Sevilla thus continue to prove a feeder club for players in this position with Alves and Adriano Correia both previously plying their trade at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
Real Madrid’s World Cup winning midfielder Sami Khedira is joining beaten Champions League finalists Juventus on a free transfer after five years and falling out of favour at the Bernabeu.
Now 28, the Germany anchorman has agreed a four-year deal with the Old Lady. Khedira will compete for a place in a star-studded engine room in Turin, alongside Chile aggressor Arturo Vidal, veteran playmaker Andrea Pirlo, France powerhouse Paul Pogba and another Italy international in Claudio Marchisio.
Former Spain Under-21 midfielder Pedro Obiang has become new West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic’s first signing since succeeding Sam Allardyce at Upton Park.
The 23-year-old joins the Hammers, 9/2 relegation chances next term, on a four-year contract from Sampdoria for an undisclosed fee.
Ghana forward Andre Ayew has joined Swansea City on a four-year deal for free after leaving Ligue 1 outfit Marseille.
“I felt this was the right place for me,” Ayew, 25, told the Swans’ official website. “I felt that my desire to play in the Premier League and wanting to grow as a player meant that Swansea was the best solution for me in every way.”
Maverick Moroccan attacking midfielder Adel Taarabt has had his contract with QPR, 5/1 chances for Championship promotion next season, cancelled by mutual consent.
Benfica is the 26-year-old’s new destination with former AC Milan loanee Taarabt taking up the Portuguese Primeira Liga champions’ offer of a five-year contract.
New head coach Paul Clement is starting to put his stamp on 11/4 Championship promotion favourites Derby County with the captures of three players.
Loanee Darren Bent, 31, has agreed a permanent deal at Pride Park with his contract up at parent club Aston Villa, and is joined there by fellow ex-England international and Wigan Athletic keeper Scott Carson, 29, who is on a two-year contract for an undisclosed fee.
Republic of Ireland defender Alex Pearce, 26, also arrives at the Rams for free, and Clement has handed the former Reading left-footer a three-year contract.