Manchester United have added another star to their midfield with the signing of free agent Christian Eriksen following their rousing win at Melbourne last night.
Meanwhile, Rafinha has joined Barcelona from Leeds, with plenty of activity around the Premier League as the new season inches closer.
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Eriksen joined UTD.
Christian Eriksen says he chose to join Manchester United on a free transfer because he is “special” at the Old Trafford club.
Eriksen agreed a three-year deal with United on Friday after an impressive loan spell with Brentford in the second half of last season.
The 30-year-old’s move to United completed an incredible comeback after his death last year.
Eriksen suffered a heart attack on the field in Copenhagen while playing for Denmark in the European Championship and was forced to leave Inter Milan after recovering under Serie A health regulations.
Eriksson, who has been fitted with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator, confirmed his form and performance during his loan spell at Brentford in the second half of last season.
He has played 11 times for the Bees in the Premier League, scoring once and providing four assists.
Eriksen was being chased by several other teams but despite their recent struggles, the desire to play for such a historic international giant was too much to resist.
“Manchester United is a special club, and I can’t wait to get started,” Eriksen said.
“I’ve had the opportunity to play at Old Trafford many times, but to wear the red shirt at United is an amazing feeling.”
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Eriksen has experience working with United coach Erik ten Haag after training with Ajax as he returns to football following a heart attack.
Ten Hague, who took charge of United last season after leaving the Dutch champions, is looking to revamp his new team after finishing sixth in the Premier League last season.
“I have seen Eric’s work at Ajax and know the level of detail and preparation that he and his staff put in every day. “He’s obviously a fantastic coach,” added Eriksen.
“I’m more excited for the future because I’ve talked to him and learned more about his vision and the way he wants the team to play.
“I still have big ambitions in the game, there’s a lot I know I can do, and this is the right place to continue my journey.”
Eriksen is Ten Hag’s second signing after Dutch left-back Tyrrell Malacia arrived from Feyenoord.
The Hague are reportedly close to signing Ajax’s Argentinian defender Lisandro Martinez.
However, United’s plans for the new season have been disrupted by reports that Cristiano Ronaldo wants to leave the club after failing to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
Dream move for Rafinha
“He’s fulfilling a childhood dream,” Brazilian winger Rafinha said on Friday as he was officially unveiled as a new Barcelona player.
“It’s an honor to be here,” Rafinha said at the event at Barca’s training centre.
“All my idols have played here and made history so it’s a great honor and I can’t thank Barça enough for giving me the opportunity to wear this shirt.
“I hope I can achieve half of what my idols have achieved here. It is a dream come true for me and my family. I will do my best for this club to win (cups).
Barca announced Rafinha’s arrival on Wednesday after agreeing a deal with Premier League side Leeds United, but did not give details on the length of the contract or his fee.
Local media have reported that the Brazilian has signed for five seasons and that Barca will pay Leeds around €55 million ($55 million) plus another €15 million in add-ons.
“He is the player that (coach) Xavi (Hernandez) wants,” Barcelona president Joan Laporta said of the player.
Laporta added: “The beautiful game is back in Barcelona and it means a lot to our club.
“It’s very exciting for us because all of us who lived in the golden era of Barça were always Brazilians.
“Rafinha reminds us of this tradition; and he is going to take the baton,” he said.
“Xavi was very adamant and we did everything we could at the club,” Laporta added, adding that Rafinha had “expressed the desire to come to Barca”.
Laporta gave Rafinha a Barça shirt with his name on it, but without a number, before both signed the contract in front of the cameras.
Rafinha is Barca’s third signing of the summer transfer window, following Danish defender Andreas Christensen from Chelsea and Ivorian midfielder Frank Casey from AC Milan, both on free transfers.
The Catalans have agreed to ‘re-join’ the club on a two-year deal with French international Ousmane Dembele, whose contract expired at the end of June.
Brentford get a new gloveman
Brentford signed Albanian goalkeeper Tomas Strakosha from Lazio on a free transfer on Thursday.
Strakosha’s move to the Premier League club has been accepted internationally, but he is expected to join up with his new team at their training camp in Germany in the next few days.
The 27-year-old has made over 200 appearances for Lazio and won 19 caps for Albania.
Athens-born Strakosha endured an injury-plagued campaign last season but has cemented his role as Lazio’s first-choice keeper on his return to fitness.
I am happy that we have signed a top goalkeeper. He’s been number one at Lazio for a long time which is amazing,” said Brentford manager Thomas Frank.
City lock in Mahrez
Riyad Mahrez signed a two-year contract extension with Premier League champions Manchester City on Friday.
Algerian winger Mahrez has been awarded a new contract at City until 2025 after helping them to the English title.
Mahrez has made 189 appearances for Pep Guardiola’s team since joining from Leicester for £60 million four years ago, scoring 63 goals and providing 45 assists.
The 31-year-old has won three Premier League titles, three League Cups and one FA Cup with City.
“I am very happy to sign the new contract. I have enjoyed every minute of my time here. Mahrez is thrilled to be part of such an incredible club.
“He has helped us achieve the success we have enjoyed over the last four seasons which has been memorable and has left us all hungry to achieve more.