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Friday 01 February 2013

Deadline day: Arsenal add Nacho Monreal to their defence

Nacho Monreal joins late on deadline day when many deals are sealed by clubs

  • Arsenal's new signing Nacho Monreal has played nine times for Spain

  • Danny Graham has signed a three-and-a-half year contract at Sunderland

  • Former Blackburn skipper Christopher Samba becomes the fourth January arrivial at QPR

  • Stoke's Jack Butland will be loaned back to Birmingham for the rest of the season

  • Luciano Becchio is looking forward to playing in the top-flight after signing for Norwich

  • New Fulham loan signing Urby Emanuelson worked with Martin Jol at Ajax

  • Fulham's Eyong Enoh played under Martin Jol at Ajax

  • New Fulham right-back Stanislav Manolev has played 29 times for Bulgaria

  • Everton's new signing John Stones has played for England Under-19s

  • Yacouba Sylla said joining Aston Villa from Ligue 2 side Clermot Foot was "a dream"

  • Winger Simon Dawkins, 26, has joined Aston Villa on loan from Tottenham

  • Paul Scharner made 144 League appearances during his first spell at Wigan

  • Kevin Mbabu, 17, joined Newcastle after a trial

  • Mario Balotelli said goodbye to his team-mates at a pre-match dinner this week

Arsenal have signed Nacho Monreal from Malaga on a long-term contract for an undisclosed fee.

The 26-year-old left-back has represented his country Spain at youth level, Under-21s and has made nine appearances for the national senior team. The deal is subject to the completion of formal registration processes.

"We have been monitoring him for some time now and are really pleased that we’ve been able to agree this move today,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said. “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. Monreal will add quality to our squad and, of course, to our defensive unit.”

Graham adds to Sunderland's attack

Sunderland have made their third signing of the January transfer window with the capture of Swansea City striker Danny Graham.

The 27-year-old, who played against Sunderland in Swansea's 0-0 draw on Tuesday night, has signed a three-and-a-half year deal at the Stadium of Light after completing a £5m move.

Graham began his career at Middlesbrough and after spells at Carlisle United and Watford, he joined Swansea in 2011. Last season he was the club's top scorer with 14 goals.

"We're delighted to have Danny and I genuinely think he’ll do well for us," said Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill. "He has a real desire to do well.

"I saw him from afar last season when he played very well in a system which seemed to suit him. I think he can fit in and score a few goals for us. We want to be less reliant on Steven Fletcher scoring the goals and I think Danny will alleviate the load."

QPR sign Samba in record deal

Queens Park Rangers have completed the signing of former Blackburn Rovers centre-half Christopher Samba for a club record fee.

The 28-year-old has penned a four-and-a-half year deal after agreeing to move from Russian side Anji Makhachkala. The deal is subject to international clearance.

Samba, who made 161 appearances in a five-year spell at Rovers, is seen as the ideal replacement for the departing Ryan Nelsen, who is leaving to become head coach of Toronto FC.

"I wouldn't be here if I didn't believe we could get out of trouble"
Christopher Samba

"This is an unbelievable signing," QPR manager Harry Redknapp told the club's website. "[Chairman] Tony Fernandes deserves a lot of credit for this one - he has worked so hard on bringing him in.

"Chris is just what we need. He's a monster. Great in the air, quick, a leader, strong, fantastic in both boxes, hard as nails. He's a proper centre-half."

Samba left Rovers in February last year and made 23 appearances for Anji, scoring three goals. "I know what is going on with the project here," he said. "There is a very important fan base here - I've played at Loftus Road before and it's fantastic. 

"The club is ambitious and I'm sure it's a good challenge for me. I wouldn't be here if I didn't believe we could get out of trouble."

Redknapp returned to his former club Tottenham Hotspur to bring in two more players. Midfielder Jermaine Jenas has joined on an 18-month deal having left Spurs, while winger Andros Townsend has arrived on a loan deal until the end of the season.

Meanwhile, QPR midfielder Alejandro Faurlin has signed for Serie A side Palermo on loan until the end of the season.

Stoke swoop for Butland and buy American

Stoke City have signed Birmingham City and England goalkeeper Jack Butland and United States winger Brek Shea.

Butland, 19, joins on a four-and-a-half-year deal for a fee of £3.3m, rising to £3.5m and will be loaned back to Birmingham for the rest of the season.

"I have come here to a great club, and I am looking forward to the challenge of playing in front of a great fan base," Butland said.

Shea was bought from FC Dallas for £2.5 million. The 22-year-old has signed a four-and-a-half-year deal at the Britannia Stadium and is the third American on Stoke's books after Geoff Cameron and Maurice Edu.

"Brek is a very, very exciting player, and one who we firmly believe could go on to become an outstanding player for this football club," Pulis said. "He has terrific pace, a very good left foot and is capable of scoring goals. He has all the tools needed to be a success here."

Defender Matthew Upson has joined Brighton & Hove Albion on loan for the rest of the season.

Fulham bring in Emanuelson, Enoh and Manolev

Fulham have added to their squad with three loans signings. AC Milan's left-sided midfielder Urby Emanuelson, Ajax midfielder Eyong Enoh and PSV Eindhoven right-back Stanislav Manolev have both joined in initial deals until the end of the season.

Emanuelson, who can also play at full-back, worked with Fulham manager Martin Jol when they were at Ajax. The 26-year-old has won 16 senior caps for his country.

Enoh is another player Jol coached at Ajax. The 26-year-old Cameroon midfielder has made more than 130 appearances for the Amsterdam side.

Manolev, 27, has played 29 times for Bulgaria and there is an option for two more years at Craven Cottage in the agreement.

Becchio swaps Leeds for Norwich

Striker Luciano Becchio has joined the former Leeds United contingent at Carrow Road after signing a three-and-a-half year deal with Norwich City.

The 29-year-old has been at Elland Road since 2008 and has scored 86 goals in 221 appearances. "I cannot wait to play my first game for Norwich," he told the club's website. "I am really happy about having the chance to play in the Premier League, it is brilliant for me personally and for my career."

As part of the deal, which is subject to the relevant paperwork being approved, Wales forward Steve Morison moves in the oppostive direction.

Everton bring in young defender

Everton have signed Barnsley right-back John Stones for an undisclosed deal.

The 18-year-old has signed a five-and-a-half-year deal after appearing 28 times for the Championship club since making his debut in December 2011. He is also an England Under-19 international.

The Merseyside club have confirmed that Magaye Gueye has joined Stade Brest on loan for the rest of the season.

Sylla becomes a Villian

Aston Villa have announced that midfielder Yacouba Sylla has completed his move to the club.

The 22-year-old France Under-21 player has signed a three-and-a-half year deal and will be available for Saturday's Barclays Premier League trip to Everton.

"I can't wait to fight for the club and help the club to climb the table," he told Aston Villa's website. "My first task will be to integrate myself with my new team-mates and to help those around me to grow and to build with them a strong team. I'm thrilled to be part of this.

"Playing at Villa Park will be unbelievable. It is a huge stadium with a great history and the crowd will be incredible. You dream about this when you become a footballer."

Another player on his way to Villa Park is Simon Dawkins, the Tottenham Hotspur winger, who had been on loan at MLS side San Jose Earthquakes. In two loan spells in the United States, the 26-year-old has scored 14 goals in 53 matches.

Villa have let left-back Stephen Warnock move to Leeds United on a permanent basis. Warnock had been on loan at Bolton Wanderers from Villa, whom he joined in 2009 and for whom he had made 84 appearances.

Scharner returns to Wigan

Austria defender Paul Scharner has signed for former club Wigan Athletic on loan until the end of the season.

The 32-year-old, who played for Wigan between 2006 and 2010, is the club's fourth signing of the January transfer window. After leaving Wigan, Scharner played for West Bromwich Albion before signing for German club Hamburg last summer.

"It really is fantastic to be back," he told the club's website. "Wigan will always have a big place in my heart, so to be asked to come back and help the team now is something really special for me."

Newcastle sign promising Swiss teenager

Newcastle have signed Kevin Mbabu from Swiss side Servette for an undisclosed fee. The 17-year-old defender signed after a trial.

"Today is a big day for me," Mbabu told the club's website. "I've always wanted to sign for a club in the Premier League and Newcastle is one of the biggest there is.

"I want to finish my development here with the reserves before one day training with the first team and hopefully breaking into the first team."

Newcastle have loaned out 20-year-old Algerian midfielder Mehdi Abeid to St Johnstone until the end of the season and have released Xisco.

Emotional Balotelli leaves Manchester City

Manchester City have confirmed that striker Mario Balotelli's spell in England has come to an end.

The 22-year-old, brought to the Etihad Stadium in 2010 from Inter Milan, has signed a four-and-a-half year deal with AC Milan. During his two seasons in Manchester, the Italy forward scored 20 goals in 54 Barclays Premier League appearances and his only assist was the pass that set up Sergio Aguero's last-gasp winner against Queens Park Rangers which clinched the League title.

"Being at City was an important part of my life and career"
Mario Balotelli

"For sure I will remember my brilliant team-mates, the manager and all the supporters," Mario told the club's website. "They are the best, they were great with me and I will always have a very special place in my heart for City, it's a great club with a great future.

"I thank them for all of their support of me. Maybe one day we will see each other again. To win the Premier League was a very special moment, and I am proud to have been a part of that."

Manager Roberto Mancini added: "With Mario we won the FA Cup, we won the Premier League and the Community Shield. We are very sorry for him because he leaves the club but we hope Mario can continue to improve and continues to work hard because he is a top, top player."

Pacheco loaned out

Liverpool have confirmed that Daniel Pacheco has joined Sociedad Deportiva Huesca in Spain until the end of the season.

The 22-year-old forward spent last season on loan at Rayo Vallecano, as well as Norwich City.

Brazilian goalkeeper Alexander Doni has also left Anfied, returning to his homeland to join Botafago on a permanent deal.

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