Premier League: Mkhitaryan, Duncan and Llorente secure moves to Italy
Arsenal midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan signs loan deal with AS Roma
Mkhitaryan joins Roma
Arsenal’s summer clear-out continued right up to the last possible moment last night with the club’s official website confirming Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s departure on loan to AS Roma.
The Armenian midfielder has never adapted to the Emirates since his arrival in January 2018 from Manchester United, despite making 59 appearances in all competitions.
He told the Roma website that the move is “a great opportunity for me to begin a new chapter, with a great club”.
The departure of Mkhitaryan, who is not expected to return to the Arsenal squad next season, brings to 16 the number of players who have been loaned or sold over the summer with Nacho Monreal and Mohamed Elneny jettisoned over the weekend.
According to Metro, the Italian club will be paying Mkhitaryan’s £200,000-a-week wages and have the option to buy the 30-year-old at any time during his stay at the Stadio Olimpico.
Duncan signs for Fiorentina
At the other end of the age scale, Liverpool’s 18-year-old forward Bobby Duncan has joined Fiorentina on a three-year deal, with the option of two further years, reports Sky Sports.
The teenager, who is Steven Gerrard’s cousin, has joined the Serie A club for a fee believed to be around £2m with the Reds adding a 20% sell-on clause in the deal.
“I want to thank everybody at liverpoolfc from the Coaches, Staff and Players for contributing in my development at the club,” Duncan wrote on Twitter. “I move on with very special memories… Thank you.”
Llorente heads to Napoli
BBC Sport reports that Napoli have signed Spain striker Fernando Llorente, who left Tottenham at the end of last season.
The 34-year-old frontman was linked to Manchester United earlier in the summer, as a possible replacement for Romelu Lukaku, but instead he returns to Italy, where he spent two fruitful years with Juventus between 2013 and 2015, winning two Serie A titles.
Darmian seals deal
On a day when the Premier League handed its cast-offs to Italy, Man Utd defender Matteo Darmian completed his move to Parma.
According to The Daily Telegraph, United have been trying to get shot of the 29-year-old Darmian for a year to trim their wage bill, and consequently “have been forced to accept a far lower offer”.
It’s believed Parma have paid in the region of £3.6m for the full-back, who arrived from Torino four years ago in a £12.7m deal.
The Telegraph says that United’s £9.1m loss on Darmian is “further proof of the club’s confused and disjointed recruitment strategy”.