Arsenal sign Spanish defender Nacho Monreal from Malaga
'Strong left-sided defender' comes from same club that provided the Gunners with Santi Cazorla
THE TRANSFER window is shut, the deals are done and Arsenal have actually signed someone. A bit like his team in recent performances, Arsene Wenger left it late, signing Spanish international defender Ignacio 'Nacho' Monreal on a "long-term" deal from Malaga, the same club who last summer provided the Gunners with Santi Cazorla.
The official Arsenal website explained that the 26-year-old Monreal has won nine caps for his country and only joined Malaga in 2011 from Osasuna. But a string of impressive performances in the past 12 months has propelled Monreal to prominence and there were rumours earlier in the season that he was being looked at by Barcelona.
It's Arsenal who have him, however, in a deal believed to be worth in the region of £8.5m. "We are delighted that Nacho Monreal has agreed to join us," said Wenger. "We have been monitoring him for some time now and are really pleased that we've been able to agree this move today.
"Monreal is a strong left-sided defender with good experience at both club and international level. He is a technically gifted player, a good crosser in the final third and strong in the air." Let's hope he can pass on these skills to the rest of the Arsenal defence.
As is his custom, Harry Redknapp was a busy fellow on deadline day, the QPR manager wheeling and dealing to the very last moment. The BBC reports that Redknapp "raided former club Tottenham" and ran off with midfielder Jermaine Jenas on an 18-month deal, while he also signed winger Andros Townsend on loan.
Also added to the Rangers squad was former Blackburn defender Chris Samba, who penned a deal with the Premier League's bottom club said to be worth £12m which will see him leave Russian outfit Anzhi.
One move that fell through for Redknapp was that of West Bromwich Albion's Peter Odemwingie. According to The Independent, Rangers were forced to lock the forward out of the club after he turned up at Loftus Road yesterday evening thinking that a deal had been reached when it hadn't.
Redknapp said subsequently: "We were trying to sign him and the lad thought a fee had been agreed between the two clubs. It hadn't… wires got crossed somewhere. He's a good lad, it was just a mistake."
The Baggies went ballistic at the behaviour of Odemwingie, releasing a statement in which they said: "The club were extremely disappointed to witness TV footage of Odemwingie arriving at Loftus Road on Thursday evening despite further talks between the two Premier League sides proving fruitless. Odemwingie was also never given permission to speak to QPR about a potential move."
Sky Sports reports that England goalkeeper Jack Butland, fresh from snubbing Chelsea earlier in the week, has completed his move to Stoke on a four-and-a-half-year deal said to be worth around £5m. The 19-year-old will remain at Birmingham City on loan until the end of the season when he will join his new club.
"I feel very good, glad to get it done and it's the next step of my career," Butland told Sky. "I'm really looking forward to it."
Finally, Spurs made a mess of trying to sign Brazilian striker Leandro Damiao with Internacional telling the Lilywhites where they could stick their £17m bid. The 23-year-old Damiao has been on Spurs' radar for months but the international frontman is staying put.
"Leandro Damiao won't leave, the offer was below what we wanted," announced Internacional's director Marcelo Medeiros. "He is under contract with Internacional and will remain our player." ·