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Wednesday 10 July 2013

In brief: Everton snap up Barcelona talent

Gerard Deulofeu joins Toffees on loan, Canaries agree to sign Olsson; El Hadji Ba joins Sunderland

  • Deulofeu in action for Barcelona during last season's Copa del Rey

  • Olsson in action for Blackburn Rovers against Arsenal

  • Martin joined Norwich initially on loan from Peterborough in 2009

  • New midfielder Hadji Ba has travelled to Sunderland's training camp in Italy

  • Thomas (right) in action for West Brom against Aston Villa last season

Everton manager Roberto Martinez says he excited by the prospect of Gerard Deulofeu's arrival at the club after the Barcelona forward arrived at Goodison Park on a season-long loan.

The 19-year-old is a product of the Barcelona youth system and is regarded as one of European football's most promising players.

"Gerard is a real diamond of Spanish football and a boy with incredible footballing talent and I am delighted that he has chosen to take the next step of his career with Everton," Martinez told the club's website.

He played for Barcelona B last season, scoring 18 goals in 33 matches, and has recently finished competing in the Under-20 World Cup in Turkey.

Deulofeu, who can play on either wing or just behind the striker, was handed some substitute appearances for the Barcelona senior team last summer and recently signed a long-term contract with the club.

Norwich City agree deals for three players

Norwich City have announced that they have reached a deal for the signing of Blackburn Rovers defender Martin Olsson.

The 25-year-old moves for an undisclosed fee after agreeing a four-year contract and the transfer will go through subject to the relevant paperwork being completed.

"We're delighted with the addition of Martin. He's been playing in England for seven years and is well acclimatised to the Premier League," Canaries manager Chris Hughton told the club’s website.

"At 25 he's at an age where he has some experience and also some time to improve"
Chris Hughton on Martin Olsson

"He can also play anywhere on the left hand side so he brings us good flexibility in that sense, plus at 25 he's at an age where he has some experience and also some time to improve.

"At this time it's about improving the squad that we have and Martin certainly does that."

Olsson, who has 15 caps for Sweden, joined Blackburn's Academy in 2006 and went on to make 143 appearances for the club, scoring six goals. He made 88 appearances for Rovers in the Barclays Premier League.

Norwich have also added goalkeeper Carlo Nash to their squad following his release from Stoke City. The experienced 39-year-old has signed a one-year deal and has joined his 11th professional club. Nash, who has played for the likes of Manchester City, Everton and Wigan Athletic in a 20-year career, joins John Ruddy and Mark Bunn at Carrow Road.

"It is now important to us to bring in a keeper of great experience and a player that is used to living life in the Premier League," added Hughton.

"The move also allows us to send Declan Rudd out on an extremely valuable season-long loan to Preston where he can get some first-team football under his belt."

Defender Russell Martin has expressed his delight after signing a new contract with the club that will keep him at Carrow Road for another three years.

The Scotland full-back joined Norwich on loan from Peterborough United in 2009 before making the switch permanent in January 2010. The 27-year-old helped Norwich win promotion to the Barclays Premier League and has played 64 times in the top flight for the Canaries, scoring five goals. His new deal takes him up to the summer of 2016.

"I'm extremely delighted - everyone knows how I feel about playing for this football club," Martin told the club's website. "Since I first arrived here it's gone unbelievably well and I feel really settled in the area.

"I'm happy playing for this Club and I've got a great relationship with the players, staff and the supporters, and I'm just delighted to be here for another three years."

Sunderland complete Ba signing

Sunderland’s busy summer in the transfer market has continued with the signing of French midfielder El Hadji Ba.

The 20-year-old's contract with Le Havre expired last month and he becomes Sunderland's seventh close-season signing after agreeing a three-year deal.

Ba, who has played for the France Under-20 side, made his Le Havre first-team debut last year and went on to make 12 league appearances. He has joined up with the rest of the Sunderland squad on their pre-season training camp in Italy.

Valentin Roberge, Modibo Diakite, Cabral, Jozy Altidore, David Moberg Karlsson and Vito Mannone have already joined the Black Cats since the end of last season.

Palace snap up Thomas

Newly-promoted Crystal Palace have made their third signing of the summer with the capture of midfielder Jerome Thomas on a free transfer.

The 30-year-old winger, who came through the youth system at Arsenal, has joined after four seasons with West Bromwich Albion. He has agreed a two-year deal with Palace.

Thomas has played for Charlton, Portsmouth and West Brom in the Barclays Premier League, making a total of 145 appearance in the top flight, scoring 11 goals.

He has joined up with his new team-mates on the club's pre-season training camp in Portugal.

"It was a case of me being on a free and weighing up my options," Thomas told the club's website. "I wanted to stay at the top level, which is obviously the Premier League. 

"I hope I can bring a lot to the team. I’ve got experience of the Premier League and the gaffer’s going to give me the freedom to play how I want to play - my attacking game - which I haven't been able to do for the last couple of seasons. That’s what I’m looking forward to."

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Key Points

  • Barcelona youngster Gerard Deulofeu joins Everton on season-long loan
  • Norwich reach agreement to sign Martin Olsson from Blackburn
  • Sunderland sign El Hadji Ba while Jerome Thomas joins Crystal Palace