London — The heaviest spending as European football's
transfer window closed on Monday was not by traditional powers but mid-ranking
English clubs Stoke and Everton collectively paying around $45 million on two
Stoke made the biggest outlay of the window with the 18.3
million pound ($26 million) signing of defensive midfielder Giannelli Imbula
shortly after Everton spent 13.5 million pounds ($19.5 million) on forward
Their spending sprees on largely unknown players reasserted
the financial supremacy of the Premier League — a competition Pep Guardiola
will be joining next season.
The announcement that Guardiola would be joining Manchester
City was the most eye-catching moment on transfer deadline day, which is
usually about clubs frantically making final additions to squads for the rest
of the season rather than changes in the dugout.
Guardiola's hiring had been anticipated since disclosing in
December that he would leave Bayern Munich at the end of the season. The
surprise was the timing.
City rushed out official word of Guardiola's summer arrival
after Pellegrini ended a news conference by revealing he would be leaving the
Abu Dhabi-owned club a year early.
Also read: Martinez 'hurt' by Everton's League Cup exit
At City, Guardiola will be linking up with Barcelona
executives Ferran Soriano and Txiki Beguiristain, hoping to replicate the
dominance he enjoyed at the Camp Nou: Winning 14 trophies in four years as
coach. Guardiola has gone on to win back-to-back league titles at Bayern in the
time Pellegrini has only collected the Premier League trophy once at City.
Guardiola will find the Premier League far more competitive
than the Spanish and German leagues. City is currently only second, three
points behind a previously unfancied Leicester side which fought relegation
New television deals kicking in next season — expected to
generate around $13 billion over three years for the Premier League — are
providing more spending power across the league. Now even less illustrious
English teams can offer more lucrative transfer fees than Europe's
Bournemouth, Everton, Newcastle and Stoke all spent more
than 10 million pounds on players in the winter transfer window — the biggest
deal coming as the 2300 GMT transfer cut-off approached.
Stoke broke its transfer record to land the 23-year-old
Imbula from Porto who has played for the France under-21s but never the senior
"He has great power, good ability on the ball and a
great range of passing and there's no doubt he will add to the quality that we
already have at the club," Stoke manager Mark Hughes said.
The 25-year-old Niasse was signed by 12th-place Everton from
Lokomotiv Moscow after being voted the Russian Premier League's top player in
The European heavyweights only conducted limited business on
German leader Bayern signed former Germany defender Serdar
Tasci from Spartak Moscow until the end of the season after losing several
players through injury, Barcelona sent right back Martin Montoya to Real Betis
on loan for the rest of the season.For
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