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Monday 04 February 2013

Brazil's Coutinho completes switch to Liverpool

Liverpool sign Inter midfielder while left-back Yun Suk-young joins QPR

  • Philippe Coutinho is Liverpool's second signing of the January transfer window

  • Yun Suk-young played for South Korea at the 2012 Olympics

  • Nick Blackman played against Reading in the FA Cup this season

  • Former Gunners midfielder Liam Brady joined Arsenal's youth academy in 1996

Liverpool have continued to strengthen their strike force by completing the signing of Inter Milan midfielder Philippe Coutinho.

The 20-year-old, who has put pen to paper on a long-term deal for an undisclosed fee, has become the Reds' second signing of the January transfer window after the arrival of Daniel Sturridge from Chelsea earlier this month.

"It has been a successful transfer window for us"
Ian Ayre

"I'm feeling very happy, it's a very important step in my career and I'm expecting to come here and play good football to give my contribution on the pitch," Coutinho told the club's official website.

"Liverpool is a great club with great players. We've always heard about Liverpool's history in Brazil. They are the club that have been interested in me and that have showed this interest so I know they believe in me and my football."

Coutinho, who been capped once by Brazil, began his career at Vasco da Gama before moving to Inter Milan in 2010. He has also spent time on loan in Spain at Liga outfit Espanyol.

Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre said: "We're always delighted when we get the players we go after. It has been a successful transfer window for us, coming off the back of acquiring Daniel Sturridge from Chelsea and now Philippe from Inter Milan. I think that bodes well for us for the rest of the season and the future."

Coutinho will be the fifth Brazilian to represent Liverpool after Fabio Aurelio, Diego Cavalieri, Doni and Lucas Leiva.

Redknapp bolsters QPR squad

Queens Park Rangers have completed their third signing of the January transfer window after swooping for South Korea international Yun Suk-young.

The 22-year-old defender, who won a bronze medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics, has signed a three-and-a-half-year deal for the R’s after an undisclosed fee was agreed with K-League side Chunnam Dragons.

The left-back, who made his full senior international debut in a FIFA World Cup qualifier against Iran in October and has been named in the South Korea squad that take on Croatia in a friendly at Craven Cottage early next month, has been granted a work permit and will be eligible to play in the Barclays Premier League once he obtains a visa.

Yun becomes Rangers' third signing of the month following the arrival of defender Tal Ben Haim and France striker Loic Remy from Marseille. QPR, who held Manchester City to a 0-0 draw at Loftus Road on Tuesday night lie 20th in the Barclays Premier League standings and host Norwich City in Saturday's lunchtime clash.

Reading adds to forward line

Reading have signed Nick Blackman from Sheffield United. The forward scored 14 goals for the League One side this season and has agreed a three-and-a-half-year deal at the Madejski Stadium.

“I’m really looking forward to it and I’m very excited,” Blackman told the club’s website. “I met the gaffer last night and he was fantastic with me and I couldn’t have asked any more from him and Nick Hammond [Reading’s Director of Football]. I can’t wait to play – hopefully I can try and get involved as soon as possible.”

Brian McDermott, the Reading manager, was pleased to have won the race for the 23-year-old’s signature.

“He had options elsewhere but he knows that we try to develop our players and make them better," he said. "He’s played a lot of games, and has so much more to come.

"He can play in three or four positions – up front, either one of the wide areas and off the striker.”

Fer move to Everton off

Everton have confirmed that the proposed deal for FC Twente midfielder Leroy Fer will not be going ahead.

Earlier this week the clubs had agreed a deal for the 23-year-old but the Toffees have said they are "no longer in dialogue" with the Eredivisie side.

"We are extremely disappointed not to be in a position to complete the signing but we always have to consider what is in the best interests of Everton and its supporters", an Everton spokesman told the club's official website.

"On this occasion it was not the right thing for the football club to do. David Moyes and his staff are continuing to look at options to bolster our squad before the transfer window closes."

Baggies winger signs loan deal

West Bromwich Albion winger Yassine El Ghanassy has joined Dutch side Heerenveen on loan until the end of the season.

The 22-year-old signed for the Barclays Premier League side from AA Gent last summer on a season-long loan and the Baggies have been given permission from his parent club to complete this present deal, although they still have the option to make the signing permanent.

El Ghanassy has made three appearances for West Brom, one in the FA Cup and two in the Capital One Cup, scoring one goal.

"Due to the team's progress this season, Yassine has found first-team chances hard to come by," said Albion's sporting and technical director (designate) Richard Garlick.

"We feel it is in everyone's best interests to allow Yassine to go out on loan and get some games under his belt."

Brady to leave the Gunners

Arsenal have announced that Liam Brady will by May 2014 stand down from his role as head of its youth academy, ending a 25-year association with the club.

The 56-year-old, who graced Highbury as an elegant midfielder in the 1970s, joined the Arsenal youth academy in 1996 and helped develop present stars such as Keiran Gibbs and Jack Wilshere.

Arsenal said it "will be discussing potential roles with Brady to ensure he stays involved".

Chief executive Ivan Gazidis said told the club's official website: "Liam has a deep understanding of what it takes to discover and develop a talented youngster into someone who can perform at the highest level.

"He has made a massive contribution to Arsenal Football Club. It will be difficult to find a worthy successor but we will be looking for someone who can build on what Liam and his team have created."

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Key Points

  • Liverpool complete the signing of Philippe Coutinho from Inter
  • South Korea international Yun Suk-young joins QPR
  • Everton confirm that Leroy Fer is not joining the club