Sevilla's busy transfer window has continued with the permanent signing of former Manchester City midfielder Fernando from Galatasaray.

Fernando spent two years in Istanbul after being discarded by City and the 31-year-old will reportedly cost Sevilla €4.5million, signing a three-year contract.

According to reports, Galatasaray were reticent to sell the Brazilian, but ultimately caved after Sevilla sporting director Monchi met the midfielder's agent Jorge Mendes, with the Turkish giants said to have reportedly owed Fernando part of his salary.

Fernando is the eighth new face to arrive at Sevilla in a busy transfer window, following Munas Dabbur, Jules Kounde, Diego Carlos, Lucas Ocampos, Joan Jordan, Luuk de Jong and Sergio Reguilon, while Maximilian Wober's loan from Ajax also became permanent.

There are likely to be further arrivals as well, while Sergio Rico, Sergi Gomez, Simon Kjaer, Joris Gnagnon, Guilherme Arana, Sebastien Corchia, Roque Mesa, Aleix Vidal, Ibrahim Amadou and Nolito could be sold.

Sevilla finished sixth in LaLiga last term, qualifying for the Europa League, a competition they have won a record five times.

Valencia have confirmed the permanent signing of Denis Cheryshev from Villarreal.

Russia winger Cheryshev, who starred for Valencia on loan last term, has signed a three-year deal.

Valencia said in a statement on Friday his contract includes an €80million buyout clause.

The Copa del Rey winners have reportedly paid less than the €7m that is said to have been the initial asking price for an outright purchase.

Cheryshev, 28, was unable to play in Valencia's Copa final win over LaLiga champions Barcelona as he was injured.

One of the stars of last year's World Cup, he impressed enough in 2018-19 to earn a permanent move, one which has been set for completion since the announcement that an agreement in principle had been reached with Villarreal on June 29.

Antoine Griezmann has swapped Atletico Madrid for Barcelona after LaLiga's champions triggered his €120million release clause.

France star and World Cup winner Griezmann will link up with Lionel Messi at Camp Nou on a five-year deal that includes an €800m buy-out option, it was confirmed on Friday.

The 28-year-old turned down a move to Barca in June last year as he opted to extend his Atletico contract. However, Griezmann informed the Madrid side of his desire to leave the Spanish capital following five years.

Griezmann has now made the switch to Barca, joining fellow recruits Frenkie de Jong and Neto through the door as Ernesto Valverde's side eye a third consecutive LaLiga title.

The attacker – who was born in France and has spent his entire professional career in Spain – moved to Atletico from Real Sociedad in 2014.

He won the Europa League, UEFA Super Cup and Supercopa de Espana during his time at Atletico.

Griezmann scored 15 LaLiga goals as Diego Simeone's side finished second behind Barca in 2018-19, while he netted 21 in all competitions.

Griezmann may not be the last high-profile forward to join Barca in this transfer window, with Paris Saint-Germain superstar Neymar also linked with a return.

The Brazilian left Camp Nou in a world-record €222m deal two years ago, but rumours about a return to Spain have been constant throughout his time in Paris.

Barca revealed this month Neymar informed them he is eager to go move back, while PSG sporting director Leonardo confirmed the forward is available for the right price after he failed to report for pre-season training.

Antoine Griezmann's €120million switch from Atletico Madrid is every inch the modern Barcelona blockbuster transfer – something that does the player and the club no credit at all.

A week ago, like clockwork, Atleti's statement arrived, expressing "the strongest disapproval of the behaviour of both [parties], especially FC Barcelona" as they accused LaLiga's champions of reaching terms with their most-prized forward in March.

The next part of the dance followed last Sunday, when Griezmann somewhat inevitably failed to turn up for training with Atletico. His no-show was very much in keeping with that of fellow France international Ousmane Dembele, who was suspended for going AWOL at Borussia Dortmund before joining Barca for €105m in August 2017.

During the same month, Philippe Coutinho was out of action with Liverpool, purportedly due to a back problem that did not prevent him from playing for Brazil at the start of the following September. It came to look more like a crude attempt to force the €160m move to Barcelona that arrived in January 2018.

Like Dembele and Coutinho, Griezmann is in part Barcelona's latest attempt to fill the void left by Neymar – an endeavour so fruitless the club appear to have concluded there is only one effective remedy.

The Brazilian superstar is reportedly ready to cut his reputational losses at Paris Saint-Germain and return to Catalonia. Of course, he didn't turn up for training this week.

Neymar's earth-shaking exit to PSG two years ago has not only defined who Barcelona's targets must be, but also how they must be sought. If Josep Maria Bartomeu and his board felt bullied by the Ligue 1 giants brazenly meeting the forward's €222m release clause, their response has been to become the biggest bullies in the playground.

Perhaps it is a coincidence that Barcelona's three most-expensive signings in their history have all effectively gone on strike to engineer a move, but there is a point at which it starts to look like an established plank of transfer policy and a grubby one at that.

It certainly jars with Barca's 'Mes que un club' ideals and its inference of some sort of higher moral standard. In fact, the present direction of travel is more in tune with peak-Galacticos era Real Madrid.

Of course, all transfer manoeuvrings stand and fall by results on the field. Over the past two seasons, form and fitness respectively have contributed towards Dembele and Coutinho failing. It mattered little in LaLiga, where Ernesto Valverde's cool-headed pragmatism brought back-to-back titles.

But in the Champions League there have been collapses of crushing humiliation at Roma and Liverpool. Griezmann's job will be to guide Lionel Messi to a fifth title in Europe's premier competition when the waters become choppy, many of his new team-mates having shown themselves to be incapable of manning the life rafts.

A starring role in France's 2018 World Cup triumph, having steered Atleti to Europa League glory in the same year, displayed he undoubtedly has the pedigree to do so. An effortlessly stylish footballer, Griezmann's inner steel harnessed in his years under Diego Simeone also should not be underestimated. He should lift a Barca that downed tools at the Stadio Olimpico and Anfield.

On the other hand, the 28-year-old's fondness for starring in his own documentaries hints at a soon-to-be untamed ego that could come into conflict with Valverde, establishing further common ground with Dembele alongside playing Fortnite and setting your own training schedule.

It will be fascinating to see how Griezmann's move to Camp Nou plays out and football to dazzle and delight will follow if things click. If they don't, the conduct of player and club mean plenty will be ready to delight in the failure.

Barcelona have signed Antoine Griezmann after the France international announced he would leave Atletico Madrid, despite having signed a new five-year contract last June.

The 28-year-old, who joined Atleti from Real Sociedad for approximately €30million in July 2014, has been the club's top goalscorer across all competitions in each of his five seasons in the capital.

His exploits took him to fifth in the club's list of all-time leading scorers with 133 in all competitions, but the World Cup-winning forward brought much more than just goals to the Rojiblancos.

A detailed look at his season-by-season statistics underline his huge importance to Diego Simeone's team over the past five years, but do they also indicate his best football may be behind him?
 

2014-15: Stepping into Costa's boots

Griezmann had big boots to fill when he arrived at Atletico, with Diego Costa having scored 36 goals in all competitions as the club won LaLiga in the previous season.

But the France star rose to the task, scoring 25 times across 53 games with a shot conversion rate of 22.52 per cent.

Ably supported by Mario Mandzukic (20 goals) and Fernando Torres (six), Griezmann helped the club win the Supercopa de Espana and finish third.

2015-16: Griezmann's most prolific campaign

With an excellent season under his belt, Griezmann settled into his groove in 2015-16 and plundered 32 goals in all competitions as Simeone's side went all the way to the Champions League final again.

They lost on penalties to Real Madrid, with Griezmann missing from 12 yards in normal time, which rather took the shine off a fine campaign. Overall, he managed 71 shots on target compared to 47 in the previous season and increased his shot conversion rate to 24.24 per cent.

 

2016-17: Gameiro partnership blossoms

Atletico spent a reported €32million on Kevin Gameiro ahead of 2016-17 and he and Griezmann combined to score 42 goals between them in all competitions.

The bulk of those strikes (26) came from Griezmann, who also doubled his assist tally from the previous season, laying on 12 goals for team-mates of which eight came in LaLiga.

 

2017-18: Silverware at last

Griezmann added a Europa League winners' medal to his trophy cabinet in 2017-18 while helping Atletico to a second-placed finish in LaLiga.

The season was his second best in terms of goal output, with 29 goals in all competitions and an Atletico career-high 13 assists to tee him up for a glorious World Cup campaign with Les Bleus.

2018-19: Past his peak?

Griezmann turned down the opportunity to leave Atletico before the 2018-19 season commenced and went on to have one of his most disappointing seasons in Madrid.

Simeone's men won the UEFA Super Cup but were knocked out of the Champions League in the round of 16 by Juventus and failed to prevent Barcelona from winning LaLiga with three games to spare.

On a personal level, Griezmann scored 15 league goals and 21 in all competitions – both his poorest tallies in a single season for the club – and his shot conversion rate dropped to 13.64 per cent in LaLiga and 15.44 per cent overall, the lowest since he left La Real.

Only time will tell if he can rediscover his best form next season, when he will be lining up against Atleti for Barca.

After what feels like years of flirting and transfer speculation, Antoine Griezmann is finally a Barcelona player and it is a move that could ruffle a few feathers at Camp Nou.

Griezmann's arrival comes 13 months after the France star committed his future to Atletico in a documentary, rebuffing Barca and signing a new five-year contract at the time.

But, with Atletico's season fading away in May, Griezmann and the Madrid club published a video to Twitter in which the forward confirmed his desire to leave.

Barca's failure in the Champions League and Copa del Rey was proof of a need for Ernesto Valverde's squad to be improved and there can be little doubt his arrival achieves that.

However, there are reasons for trepidation for several of Griezmann's new team-mates, as we have examined…

 

Philippe Coutinho

Despite a promising start, it is fair to say Coutinho's time at Camp Nou has not gone to plan since joining from Liverpool for a reported €160m in January 2018. The Brazil international has failed to nail down a regular spot in midfield or attack, starting only 22 league games in 2018-19, often filling in either role with minimal success to make him a frequent target for jeers. If Barca see Coutinho as more of a forward, there may not be space for him with Griezmann's arrival, with first-team opportunities likely to be even trickier to come by. Linked with a move, the former Liverpool star would not be short of suitors, particularly in England.

Ousmane Dembele

Like Coutinho, Dembele was brought in as part of the post-Neymar splurge. While the winger is undoubtedly talented and has shown flashes of his potential, his Barca career has been interrupted by injuries and reports of immaturity. Few can argue Griezmann is not a model professional, even if his behaviour over the past year or so has angered Atleti and his new employers. Perhaps, as an international team-mate and fellow World Cup-winner, Griezmann might just be the influence Dembele, whose move could eventually be worth €145m, needs to find his best.

Luis Suarez

In the opening months of last season Suarez showed signs of decline, as he endured a couple of uncharacteristic droughts. Thankfully for Barca he recovered and has managed to score 21 goals in LaLiga, though his form in the Champions League remains a concern, the Uruguayan netting just five times in his past 29 games in the competition.

While there is no suggestion Griezmann is set to replace Suarez, the fact the Frenchman could fill in for him and allow him more rest can only be a good thing, particularly with the former Ajax star now 32 years old. However, for the two to co-exist, they may need to bury the hatchet, with Suarez unimpressed by Griezmann's efforts to show respect to Uruguay - a country he professes to love - after his goal against them for France at the World Cup.

 

Lionel Messi

The main man, the superstar and the one who makes everything tick. None of that will change if Griezmann arrives. Messi was inspirational again last season, scoring 36 times in 34 LaLiga games. He was used a little more sparingly and Griezmann's potential arrival could allow him more rest, but the Argentine's status as top dog will certainly remain either way. Nevertheless, another superstar forward might just alleviate some of the goal-scoring burden.

Malcom

A transfer that promised much has yielded little. Brazilian winger Malcom is almost certain to leave Barca over the next month or so, and his departure will surely be hastened now a deal for Griezmann has been struck. A gifted player that Barca pipped Roma to at the last minute in July 2018, it has been pretty clear from the outset that he does not have Valverde's faith. Links with Sevilla soon vanished after Monchi - the scorned sporting director of the Giallorossi last year - returned to the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, though he will likely have plenty of options should the Catalan decide to offload him.

Antoine Griezmann has swapped Atletico Madrid for Barcelona after LaLiga's champions triggered his €120million release clause.

A lawyer representing Antoine Griezmann has arrived at LaLiga headquarters to pay his Atletico Madrid release clause and start the process of his move to Barcelona.

A man identified as the France star's solicitor was filmed by Cope arriving at the league's offices in Madrid around midday on Friday.

Atletico are expected to make an announcement later to confirm the €120million buyout clause has been deposited, thereby releasing Griezmann from his contract.

The forward is then likely to finalise a move to Barca in the coming hours, with reports in Catalonia suggesting he will be presented at Camp Nou as early as Sunday.

Griezmann has long been expected to join the LaLiga champions despite signing a new Atletico contract after rejecting Barca advances last year.

The 28-year-old will become their second most expensive signing behind Philippe Coutinho, who joined from Liverpool for a fee in the region of €145m in January 2018.

Griezmann scored 15 LaLiga goals last term as Atletico finished second behind Barca in the title race.

Bayern Munich have to "wait and see" whether a possible deal to sign Manchester City star Leroy Sane can be agreed, chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge says.

Sane has long been earmarked as one of Bayern's top choices to replace veteran wingers Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben, who left at the end of last season.

President Uli Hoeness and head coach Niko Kovac have spoken highly of the Germany international, who had to battle for a place in Pep Guardiola's starting line-up in 2018-19.

Any potential deal appears a long way from coming to fruition but Rummenigge is nonetheless keeping his ear to the ground in case Sane makes it clear he wishes to move during Bayern's pre-season trip to the United States.

"He wanted to think about his future on holiday. We have to wait and see if something moves on. We are ready," he told Bild.

"The transfer window is open until September 2. Nothing has been decided at all yet. The spatial distance will of course increase [because of the USA trip], but that's no problem at all."

Bayern have also been linked with a bid for Barcelona's Ousmane Dembele as they look to bolster their wide options for the new season.

The France international could be sold to accommodate Antoine Griezmann, who is expected to join from Atletico Madrid in the coming days.

However, former Bayern star Lothar Matthaus has advised them against signing Dembele, who went on strike to force a move away from Borussia Dortmund in 2017.

Paul Pogba was among the Manchester United stars to model the new away kit for the 2019-20 season, despite continued speculation over his future.

The France international is eager for a new challenge and hopes to leave Old Trafford before the new campaign gets underway, according to his agent Mino Raiola.

However, Pogba is taking part in United's pre-season duties in Australia and latest reports suggest he is unwilling to damage his relationship with the club by trying to force them into a sale.

The 26-year-old has now appeared as part of the official release of United's latest shirt - a "savannah-toned" jersey inspired by the aesthetics of Manchester's artistic Northern Quarter.

Pogba, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford, Luke Shaw and Scott McTominay were the men's senior players to be part of the kit reveal, as was Nemanja Matic, who has been linked with Inter and AC Milan.

United said the shirt is "influenced by the unique artwork of the Northern Quarter, the city is embedded deep within the design as the base colour is overlaid with a subtle pattern".

It will be worn for the first time on Saturday, when they face Perth Glory in a pre-season friendly in Western Australia.

Pogba is likely to play some part in the match, as are new signings Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, although Anthony Martial and Romelu Lukaku, another player linked with a move away, are facing a battle to be fully fit.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side then face Leeds United at Optus Stadium before heading to Singapore for an International Champions Cup match with Inter, who have reportedly begun talks over a possible deal for Lukaku.

Rising Japan star Hiroki Abe has agreed to join Barcelona, J1 League side Kashima Antlers have confirmed.

The 20-year-old is due to undergo a medical and sign a contract after the two clubs reached an agreement over a transfer.

The deal will reportedly cost Barca a fee in the region of €2million.

"It was a difficult decision to leave the team this season," Abe, who was named Rookie of the Year in Japan's top flight in 2018, told Kashima's website.

"I felt strongly that I wanted to try new challenges at Barcelona, and I decided to move. I believe the various difficulties and obstacles I will face from now on are essential for my growth."

Abe is expected to link up with Barca B but reports in Spain suggest he could join Ernesto Valverde's first-team squad for their pre-season tour of Japan.

A winner of the AFC Champions League last year, Abe appeared in all three of Japan's group games at the Copa America, where they drew with Uruguay and Ecuador after losing 4-0 to Chile.

Antoine Griezmann's proposed move to Barcelona appears close to completion.

Griezmann has been tipped to join Barca after notifying Atletico Madrid of his desire to leave following five years in the Spanish capital.

And after months of speculation, a big-money transfer to LaLiga's champions is looming large.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA PAY FOR GRIEZMANN

According to L'Equipe, Barcelona have paid the €120million release clause to sign Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann.

Tensions between the two LaLiga clubs have been high after Atletico claimed Barca and Griezmann secretly negotiated a transfer in February.

Griezmann has been available for €120m since his release clause dropped from €200m on July 1.

While Barca and Atletico have reportedly denied the sum has been paid, the French World Cup winner seems destined for Camp Nou.

 

ROUND-UP

- Roma will sign Atalanta defender Gianluca Mancini instead of Tottenham's Toby Alderweireld, according to Gianluca Di Marzio. After losing Kostas Manolas to Serie A rivals Napoli, Roma identified Alderweireld due to his £25m release clause, which lasts until August. However, his contract demands have reportedly proved excessive.

- According to L'Equipe, Paris Saint-Germain have relaunched their bid to sign Everton midfielder Idrissa Gueye. PSG wanted to sign Gueye in January, but they were unsuccessful.

Inter will look to sign Eintracht Frankfurt forward Ante Rebic if they are unable to prise Romelu Lukaku from Manchester United, per Gianluca Di Marzio.

Manchester United have been quoted £50m to sign Newcastle United's Sean Longstaff, The Telegraph reports. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is determined to bolster his midfield, having lost Ander Herrera and amid doubts over futures of Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic. The Red Devils are also said to be confident a compromise can be reached with Leicester City over centre-back Harry Maguire, who is valued at £90m by the Foxes.

- After missing out on Maxi Gomez to Valencia and losing Marko Arnautovic to the Chinese Super League, The Sun says West Ham will turn to Colombia forward Duvan Zapata – who spent last season on loan at Atalanta from Sampdoria – in a £40m deal.

- According to Corriere dello Sport and Tuttosport, Fiorentina star Federico Chiesa wants to join Juventus.

Neymar returning to Barcelona would be "incredible", though former star Xavi insisted a transfer to re-sign the Paris Saint-Germain forward would be "very difficult".

LaLiga champions Barca have been linked to Neymar, who left Camp Nou for French giants PSG in a world-record €222million deal in 2017.

PSG sporting director Leonardo confirmed Neymar – who failed to turn up to the first day of pre-season training – is available for the right price.

Xavi played alongside Neymar before moving to Qatari side Al Sadd in 2015 and the 39-year-old told Movistar: "He would be an incredible signing.

"But I see it as being difficult, honestly. I think it's very difficult.

"We have seen so many things that I thought I'd never see though, such as PSG paying €222 million, so we'll have to wait.

"There's no doubt that he's one of the best players in the world, but let's see what Barcelona do."

While Neymar's future is uncertain, Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann is reportedly set to join Barca.

France international and World Cup winner Griezmann – who has a €120million release clause – will leave Atletico after five years and Barca are favourites to sign the forward.

"He's a great player, a world star," Xavi added. "He made a difference with Atletico Madrid and with France. He's an extraordinary player.

"It's still not official, but it seems like he's going to Barcelona. I think it'll be a great signing."

Inter sporting director Piero Ausilio confirmed the Serie A club have made an "official approach" to Manchester United for Romelu Lukaku.

United striker Lukaku has emerged as a transfer target for Inter, who sent officials to England to try to reach a deal for the Belgium international.

Lukaku – contracted to the Red Devils until 2022 with the option of a further year – joined United from Everton for £75million in 2017 and the Premier League giants want to recoup that fee as Inter push for an initial loan deal.

Ausilio arrived back in Milan on Thursday and he told reporters: "We had a meeting with Manchester United for Lukaku.

"It was an official approach between two important clubs. We'll see what happens.

"All the players we're following are targets we've agreed with Antonio Conte. We want to satisfy his request within certain financial parameters."

Lukaku, who has acknowledged a desire to play in Italy and hinted his future could be away from Old Trafford with United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer preferring Marcus Rashford up front, scored 12 Premier League goals last season.

The 26-year-old – in Australia for the club's pre-season tour – scored 15 goals across all competitions as United finished sixth in the Premier League and lost to Barcelona in the Champions League quarter-finals.

 

Lautaro Martinez's agent Alberto Yaque confirmed LaLiga champions Barcelona are interested in signing the Inter forward.

Martinez, 21, has been linked with a €112million move to Barca, just one season after joining Inter from Racing Club.

The Argentina international scored nine goals in all competitions – six in Serie A – last term and emerged as the focal point of Inter's attack amid the fallout between Mauro Icardi and the club.

Asked about speculation linking Martinez to Barca, Yaque told Ole: "Talk of Barcelona's interest is true.

"No-one's called us, but we know that they've been looking at him strongly. It's true that Barcelona like him."

Inter have been busy in the transfer market following Antonio Conte's appointment as head coach in place of Luciano Spalletti.

The Nerazzurri have signed Diego Godin, Valentino Lazaro and Stefano Sensi, while they are reportedly poised to announce the arrival of Cagliari midfielder Nicolo Barella amid ongoing talks with Manchester United over Romelu Lukaku.

Meanwhile, Barca have lured Frenkie de Jong and Neto to the club as they also look to sign Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann and Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt.

 

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