By DAN KARELL
In the space of just a few weeks, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has gone from a man who has lost his touch to a man that is still one of the best managers in the game.
30 minutes before the close of the transfer window, Arsenal official announced the signing of Mesut Özil for a club record transfer fee of $66 million dollars from Real Madrid. The German international completed a medical in Munich earlier on Monday while on international duty.
“We are extremely pleased to have signed Mesut Ozil,” Wenger said in a club statement. “He is a great player, with proven quality at both club and international level. We have watched and admired him for some time as he has all the attributes I look for in an Arsenal player.”
Özil’s move comes just days after he made statements to Spanish press that he wasn’t interested in a move away from Real Madrid, but Gareth Bale’s acquisition made Özil available for departure.
“I am thrilled to be joining a club of the stature of Arsenal and am looking forward to playing in the Premier League,” Özil said on the club’s website. “It will be great for my own personal development as a player and I am particularly looking forward to working with Arsène Wenger.”
Here are some more stories from the final hours of the European transfer window:
FELLAINI MAKES MAN UNITED MOVE
It took them nearly the entire window, but Manchester United have finally acquired Marouane Fellaini.
Though the Red Devils haven’t announced the deal as of writing, Everton confirmed the deal, announcing that they had sold the Belgian international midfielder for £27.5 million ($43 million), five million pounds sterling more than Fellaini’s buyout clause, which expired earlier this summer.
Fellaini rejoins former manager David Moyes at Old Trafford, 116 days after Moyes was announced as Man United’s manager.
EVERTON ACQUIRE THREE ON DEADLINE DAY
Everton may be losing Fellaini, but they’ve significantly upgraded their squad with three players in a deadline-day coup.
To replace Fellaini, Roberto Martinez has acquired Wigan Athletic midfielder James McCarthy for £13 million ($20 million), reuniting the two at Martinez’s new job, while also acquiring Chelsea forward Romelu Lukaku and Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry on season-long loans.
The trio join already acquired Arouna Kone, Antolin Alcaraz, Joel Robles, and Gerard Deulofeu in the Everton squad, while they’ve only lost Fellaini and forward Victor Anichebe. Leighton Baines is currently still an Everton player.
LIVERPOOL SIGN TWO DEFENDERS IN BIG DAY FOR CLUB
While Everton may have had a good day, completing their business in time, their neighbors Liverpool FC completed their signings well ahead of time.
Liverpool announced on Monday morning the signings of defenders Mamadou Sakho from Paris Saint-Germain and Tiago Ilori from Sporting Lisbon on permanent deals, while also acquiring Chelsea winger Victor Moses on a season-long loan.
According to reports in England, Liverpool spent nearly £25 million combined for the defenders’ transfers to the club.
MAN UNITED FAIL IN BID FOR HERRERA
Despite successfully acquiring Fellaini in the final minutes of the transfer window, Man United David Moyes was unsuccessful in acquiring their other midfield target from this morning, Ander Herrera.
Conflicting reports throughout the day stated that Man United were in negotiations with Athletic Bilbao over the transfer of the player, as well as having representatives enter the La Liga offices to try and pay the buyout clause of the player.
But the English club later confirmed that in fact they had tried to negotiate the transfer fee down and were unsuccessful, and the folks who were reportedly negotiating on Man United’s behalf have turned out to be imposters, making a bizarre day even more strange.
In addition, Man United apparently made a last-ditch bid to bring in Real Madrid left back Fabio Coentrao on a season-long loan but they ran out of time to complete the deal.