Alex Telles left Manchester United for a reunion with former team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo at Saudi Arabian side Al Nassr on Sunday.
Telles is the latest star from a major European club to move to the Gulf state, having swapped the Premier League for the lure of the lucrative Saudi Pro League.
The Brazilian left-back spent last season on loan at Sevilla and made 50 appearances for United in three years at Old Trafford.
Telles, 30, will be reunited with Portugal striker Ronaldo at Al Nassr after the Portugal forward’s acrimonious departure from United last year.
“Alex Telles has completed a permanent move from Manchester United to Al-Nassr,” a United statement said.
“The 30-year-old full-back has joined the Saudi Premier League outfit following 50 first-team appearances for the Reds.
“We’d like to thank Alex for his contributions to the club over the last three years and would like to wish him all the best for the future.”
Telles struggled to hold down a regular place in the United after arriving from Porto in a £13.6 million deal in 2020.
However, he impressed at Sevilla, where he won the Europa League with the Spanish club last season.
Telles’s move to Al Nassr comes amid a shock exodus of top players to Saudi Arabia.
France striker Karim Benzema quit Real Madrid to join Al-Ittihad, while a host of Premier League stars have headed to the Gulf state.
Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante linked up with compatriot Benzema at Al-Ittihad, with his former Blues team-mate Kalidou Koulibaly moving to Al-Hilal, who also signed Ruben Neves from Wolves.
Edouard Mendy was another Chelsea player to swap west London for Saudi Arabia as the Senegal keeper joined Al Ahli, where he will be joined by Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino and probably by Alain Saint-Maximin of Newcastle.
Former Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard accepted an offer to take charge of Al Ettifaq, who hope to sign Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson imminently
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BARNES JOINS NEWCASTLE
Newcastle signed England winger Harvey Barnes from Leicester in a deal worth a reported £38 million ($A73m) on Sunday.
Barnes agreed a five-year contract with the Magpies as he remains in the Premier League following Leicester’s relegation to the Championship at the end of last season.
The 25-year-old is expected to fill the void in Eddie Howe’s squad left by the impending departure of Allan Saint-Maximin, who is reportedly set to join Saudi Arabian side Al Ahli.
Saint-Maximin was left out of the Newcastle squad which recently travelled to the United States for the Premier League ‘Summer Series’.
“It’s an amazing club and for me it’s a massive opportunity to come and be involved in a successful team that’s doing exciting things, so I’m absolutely buzzing to be here,” Barnes said.
“I think it’s an attacker’s dream to come into a team like this; it’s high paced, it’s physically demanding, but you can see the rewards of that with the chances and the goals scored, so I think I’ll certainty suit the style.”
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Barnes can look forward to playing in the Champions League next season after Newcastle secured a top four finish in the Premier League last term.
Newcastle also reached a first domestic final since 1999 last season, losing to Manchester United in the League Cup final.
“Harvey is an exciting talent who I have admired for a long time so I’m delighted to welcome him to Newcastle,” Howe said.
“He will add a different element to our play and we look forward to working with him as we prepare for the season ahead.”
Barnes made 187 appearances for Leicester after emerging from their youth academy, scoring 13 league goals and providing one assist last season.
He helped Leicester win the FA Cup in 2021 and has earned one cap for England, coming on against Wales three years ago.
Barnes is Newcastle’s second high-profile close-season signing following their £52 million swoop for AC Milan midfielder Sandro Tonali.
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RICE JOINS ARSENAL IN ENGLISH RECORD
West Ham United have confirmed an agreement has been reached for captain Declan Rice to depart for a British record transfer fee.
Although the Hammers didn’t name them in the club statement, Rice is headed to Arsenal in a deal that eclipses the £100 million Manchester City paid Aston Villa for Jack Grealish in 2021.
Rice made 245 appearances for the Hammers across all competitions and helped end West Ham’s 43-year wait for a major honour when they won the Europa Conference League in Prague.
Joint-Chair David Sullivan was devastated to have lost the club captain but reiterated to supporters that selling Rice was not what the Hammers wanted to do.
“I am sorry to see Declan leave us, but I believe that everyone at West Ham United should be very proud of the part we have played in his journey from the Academy of Football at Chadwell Heath to becoming the most valuable young player in English football,” Sullivan said in a club statement.
“I would like to make it clear to our supporters that we did not want to sell Declan. We wanted to build our team around him and made a series of improved, long-term contract offers to secure his future.
“However, once Declan made it clear that he wished to move on and seek a new challenge, the Club felt it would not be right to stand in his way, acting in the best interests of West Ham United.”
GUNNERS SLEA $74 MILLION DUTCH BEAST
Arsenal announced the signing of Dutch international defender Jurrien Timber from Ajax on Friday as the Gunners continue to strengthen for a Premier League title challenge.
The 22-year-old will cost an initial 40 million euros ($A66m) with a further five million euros worth of add-ons, Ajax confirmed in a statement.
Timber won two Eredivisie titles in 121 appearances for Ajax and was part of the Netherlands squad that reached the quarter-finals of last year’s World Cup.
He can operate at both centre-back and right-back and will bring added depth to an Arsenal defence that struggled to cope with injuries to William Saliba and Takehiro Tomiyasu towards the end of last season.
“We’re really excited that Jurrien has joined us,” said Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta.
“He is a versatile young defender, who will fit into our system and provide our squad with so much added quality.”
Arsenal missed out on a first Premier League title for 19 years last season after finishing second behind treble winners Manchester City.
But Arteta has been strongly backed in Arsenal’s quest to end a two-decade wait to win the English top flight.
Kai Havertz has already joined from Chelsea in a £65 million deal, while Declan Rice is expected to complete a move worth up to £105 million from West Ham in the coming hours.
“I’m excited to play for this beautiful club, and I can’t wait to start, and to see the fans obviously in the stadium,” said Timber.
“I just like the way Arsenal play, it’s a bit similar to Ajax’s style and I like to play from the back. I can see a lot of similarities, especially in the way Arsenal and Ajax want to play.”
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VILLA LANDS CRUCIAL DEFENDER
Spanish international defender Pau Torres has been reunited with Aston Villa manager Unai Emery after joining the Premier League club from Villarreal on Wednesday.
Torres, 26, will join Villa for a reported fee of £35 million ($AUD67 million). The centre-back was a key part of the Villarreal side that won the Europa League under Emery in 2021 and reached the Champions League semi-finals the following year.
Torres, who has been capped 23 times by Spain, was a product of the Villarreal youth academy and made 123 appearances for his boyhood club.
The defender had also been linked with the likes of Bayern Munich, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur over the years.
He becomes Villa’s second signing of the transfer window after the arrival of Belgian international midfielder Youri Tielemans from Leicester.
Villa are in Europe next season for the first time since 2010 after Emery oversaw a remarkable transformation in his first season in charge.
A seventh-place finish in the Premier League was enough to secure a place in the Europa Conference League.
Villa sat just outside the relegation zone when Emery replaced the sacked Steve Gerrard in October.
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ANGE BAGS FOURTH SIGNING IN SPURS MAKEOVER
Tottenham signed Israel forward Manor Solomon on a free transfer on Tuesday after his successful loan spell at Fulham.
Solomon was able to cancel his contract with Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk after FIFA extended its temporary employment rules relating to the war.
That enabled the 23-year-old to join Ange Postecoglou’s side on a five-year deal after passing his medical earlier this week.
Due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year, foreign players contracted to clubs affiliated to Ukrainian or Russian football associations can “unilaterally suspend their employment” until June 30 2024, provided teams are informed of the suspension in writing by July 1.
With Solomon’s previous terms with Shakhtar due to expire on December 31, he was able to become a free agent after he exercised the right to suspend his current employment with the Ukraine outfit.
The winger, who has 35 Israel caps, is Tottenham’s fourth signing since the end of last season.
Dejan Kulusevski’s loan move from Juventus was made permanent, with Italy goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario and England midfielder James Maddison also arriving in north London.
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