Deadline day: Southampton sign four, James heads to Fulham, Gouiri joins Rennes

By Sports Desk September 01, 2022

The transfer window has been gently eased shut, and there were plenty of last-minute deals to keep fans across Europe captivated.

Southampton were busy, adding Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Duje Caleta-Car to their ranks, among others, while Barcelona allowed Martin Braithwaite to join Espanyol on a free transfer and sold Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Chelsea.

As the seconds ticked down, clubs dotted their i's, crossed their t's and blew the dust off their fax machines, and here is just some of what took place in the closing hours.

Busy Saints bring in four, lose one

As far as the Premier League goes, it was Southampton who got up to the most activity in the final moments, signing Maitland-Niles on loan from Arsenal and Caleta-Car permanently from Marseille on a four-year deal, as well as adding two Manchester City youngsters in Juan Larios and Sam Edozie. They let defender Yan Valery to Ligue 1 side Angers.

Brighton and Hove Albion completed the signing of Billy Gilmour from Chelsea and released Romanian striker Florin Andone, while Chelsea let Ethan Ampadu join Serie A side Spezia on loan and finally allowed Kenedy to depart Stamford Bridge after seven years to join Real Valladolid in LaLiga.

Carlos Vinicius returned to the Premier League after a loan spell with Tottenham in 2020-21, having joined Fulham from Benfica on a permanent deal. The Cottagers also completed a loan deal for Leeds United winger Daniel James.

The Whites were frustrated in their attempts to sign Bamba Dieng from Marseille, but instead clinched a deal for Italian youngster Wilfried Gnonto from FC Zurich for an undisclosed fee.

Nottingham Forest added signings number 20 and 21 of the window in Josh Bowler from Blackpool and Loic Bade from Rennes, with free agent Serge Aurier potentially making it 22, though a reported late move for Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi failed to materialise.

Jan Bednarek had been linked with a move to West Ham earlier in the day but ended up leaving Southampton on loan to another team in claret and blue as Aston Villa brought in the Polish defender.

Brooks was here, now he's in Lisbon

On the continent, Benfica completed the signing of American defender John Brooks from Wolfsburg, while Maxi Gomez left Valencia for Turkish side Trabzonspor.

Los Che brought in a replacement for Gomez in Justin Kluivert on loan from Roma after his move to Fulham fell through due to work permit issues.

In France, highly rated forward Amine Gouiri swapped Nice for Rennes in a reported club-record fee apparently worth €28million, while Lille secured a loan deal for Everton midfielder Andre Gomes.

As well as signing Aubameyang and Hector Bellerin and losing Braithwaite, Barcelona also said goodbye on a temporary basis to Ez Abde, who joined Osasuna on loan.

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    Farke’s side equalled a 92-year club record of nine straight league wins and extended their unbeaten run at Elland Road this season, while the German is the first Leeds manager to remain undefeated in his first 19 home games in charge.

    The former Norwich boss, whose side have cut the gap on Leicester to six points after trailing them by 17 at the turn of the year, said: “It’s a great evening for everyone connected with Leeds United.

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    “But even more important is the feeling and the spirit. You could feel it in the celebrations of the whole stadium.

    “You could see what it means to everyone connected with this club after some really tough years, many disappointments and days of suffering.

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    “We’re delivering such performances and such results. It’s great and I’m delighted for our supporters. They can enjoy their weekend in a proper way, that’s for sure.”

    Leicester had been good value for their slender lead after Faes headed in from a corner but were punished for some glaring misses and slipped to back-to-back league defeats.

    Jannik Vestergaard’s second-half header went within a whisker of giving the Foxes a 2-0 lead when it hit a post and Patson Daka had an effort wrongly ruled out for offside.

    Stephy Mavididi fired a fraction wide and Daka pulled another golden chance off target.

    On the disallowed goal, Leicester boss Enzo Maresca said: “I didn’t watch to be honest, so I can’t say anything.

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    “We created many chances and at the end it was a matter of the chances that we missed.”

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    It is rare for anyone connected to United to speak of City, or Liverpool, in such positive terms as Ratcliffe – even if he did also refer to those clubs as “the enemy”.

    Guardiola, whose side travel to Brighton in the Premier League this weekend, feels that acknowledgement is perhaps United’s first step on a journey back towards the top.

    He said: “It’s the truth! As (soon) as the teams admit it, they will be closer to us. If they want to deny it for things that are not the reality then it’s their problem. It’s not our problem.

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    “We thought we had options, but when it develops during the season, I wanted to bring in a striker in the winter, but it was not possible. And already we had our problems with FFP (Financial Fair Play) in the summer of course.”

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