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Antoine Griezmann: Atletico Madrid re-sign French forward on loan from Barcelona

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Antoine Griezmann joined Barcelona from Atletico Madrid in £103m deal two years ago; forward returns to Atletico on a season-long loan; Sky Italy and Barcelona say Atletico have obligation to make deal permanent next summer, but Atletico say they instead have the option to extend the loan

Antoine Griezmann has completed his shock Deadline Day return to Atletico Madrid on loan from Barcelona.

Atletico and Barcelona said there was an option to extend the loan for a further season, with the Catalan club adding the Madrid side also had an obligation to make the deal permanent. Sky in Italy reports this permanent deal would cost £34.4m (€40m).

Atletico were able to move for the 30-year-old after sanctioning Saul Niguez’s departure to Chelsea on an initial loan with an option to buy worth £33.4m (€38.9m) overall.

Diego Simeone was keen to sign a new striker and Griezmann will have no difficulty settling back at Atletico, having worked under the Argentine between 2014 and 2019.

Barcelona stated that Atletico have agreed to pay Griezmann’s wages in full.

AP AIMGE
Image:Saul Niguez joined Chelsea from Atletico Madrid on Deadline Day

The 2018 World Cup-winner joined Barcelona from Atletico on a £103m deal two years ago and scored 35 goals in 102 appearances for the club.

However, he has only won the Copa del Rey during his time at the Nou Camp, and the Catalan giants have been trying to lighten their wage bill this summer due to debts amounting to £1.15billion, as confirmed by club president Joan Laporta earlier in August.

The club’s reported financial struggles meant they were unable to offer Lionel Messi a new contract, prompting his shock exit to Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer.

On Tuesday, the club announced stalwarts Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba have accepted to take a pay cut in order to aid the club’s Financial Fair Play parameters and ensure new signing Sergio Aguero could be formally registered with the Spanish Football League (LFP).

Earlier in the summer, Gerard Pique took a similar decision to allow Memphis Depay and Eric Garcia to be ratified as Barcelona players.

Griezmann originally left Atletico for Barcelona in 2019 at the end of a protracted transfer saga after his £103m (€120m) release clause was paid in full.

A year earlier, he featured in a documentary with Spanish TV station Movistar called “The Decision” which followed him as he opted to stay at Atletico despite interest from Barcelona.

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Black Stars Head Coach CK Akonnor sacked

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The Executive Council of the Ghana Football Association has taken a decision to terminate the appointment of Black Stars Coach Charles Akonnor and his two Assistants with immediate effect.

This follows the receipt of the Technical Report from the Head Coach of the Senior National Team and the report from the Black Stars Management Committee following Ghana’s Group G World Cup qualifying matches against Ethiopia and South Africa.

The Executive Council after considering the two reports have decided to terminate its relationship with the Head Coach C. K Akonnor and the two Assistants.

The Executive Council has formed a three (3) Member Committee made up of Vice President Mark Addo, Upper East Regional Football Association Chairman, Alhaji Salifu Zida and Dr. Randy Abbey to find a Head Coach and Assistant Coaches for the Black Stars within the next 72 hours.

The Association wishes C.K Akonnor and his Assistants the very best in their future endeavours.

Ghana currently have three (3) points after the two opening matches.

The Black Stars will take on Zimbabwe in the next round of games in October 2021.

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Andy Murray: Emma Raducanu win provides ‘huge opportunity’ for British tennis

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Kent teenager Emma Raducanu took New York by storm, not dropping a set en route to victory as she became the first qualifier in history to claim a grand slam crown; fellow Briton Andy Murray was asked about the 18-year-old after his Rennes Open first-round victory over Yannick Maden

Andy Murray has hailed Emma Raducanu’s “incredible” US Open win and spoken of a “huge opportunity” for British tennis.

Kent teenager Raducanu took New York by storm, not dropping a set en route to victory as she became the first qualifier in history to claim a grand slam crown.

Fellow Briton Murray was asked about the 18-year-old at a press conference on Monday after his Rennes Open first-round victory over Yannick Maden.

The three-time grand slam winner said: “It was incredible what she did there. I think for a lot of the people involved in British tennis, we knew she was extremely good.

“She hadn’t competed much for the last sort of 18 months or so with school and coronavirus and those sorts of things, but I think at Wimbledon (where Raducanu reached the fourth round) everyone sort of got a bit of a glimpse of how good she could be.

“I’ve spent a little bit of time around her on the practice court, but more so in the same building, training close to each other, and watching what she’s doing, and she’s obviously really, really good.

“But what she did in New York was very special, a huge boost for British tennis and gives hopefully the governing bodies an opportunity to capitalise on that and get more and more kids involved in the sport.

“It’s great what she did and a huge opportunity for British tennis now.”

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Premier League transfers: Spending breakdown after Deadline Day

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Arsenal splash league-topping £156.8m on signings, followed by Man Utd and Man City; Gunners also top net spend chart; Southampton, Brighton, Aston Villa, Norwich and Watford record net profit; Norwich and Watford register squad overhauls

How much did Premier League clubs spend on transfers during the summer window? We crunch the numbers…

Premier League clubs have splashed around £1.04bn on 103 permanent signings for disclosed fees during the summer transfer window – but how much did your team spend?

The total expenditure was £266m short of last summer’s total and produced a £593m net spend after teams recouped around £446m on player sales.

Manchester City made the most expensive recruit during the window, with Jack Grealish costing £100m from Aston Villa, while Romelu Lukaku (£97.5m to Chelsea from Inter Milan) and Jadon Sancho (£73m to Manchester United from Borussia Dortmund) were also among the most pricey additions.

Jack Grealish says it’s "a dream come true" to have joined Manchester City
Image:Jack Grealish says it’s “a dream come true” to have joined Manchester City

Arsenal invested heavily, topped with £50m acquisition Ben White from Brighton, followed by Raphael Varane (£41m to Manchester United from Real Madrid), Emi Buendia (£38m to Aston Villa from Norwich) and Ibrahima Konate (£36m to Liverpool from RB Leipzig).

GRAPHIC

SPENDING

Arsenal emerged as the window’s most spendthrift club with a £156.8m spree on young talent, including White (£50m), Martin Odegaard (£34m), Aaron Ramsdale (£30m), Takehiro Tomiyasu (£19.8m), Albert Sambi Lokonga (£15m) and Nuno Tavares (£8m).

Jadon Sancho feature
Image:Manchester United signed Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund for £73m

Manchester United nearly matched the Gunners with a £133.7m outlay on Sancho, Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo (£19.7m), while Manchester City invested every penny of their £100m spending on Grealish, with Aston Villa reinvesting £93m of that cash on new recruits to help fill the void left by their former captain – just shy of Chelsea‘s £97.5m outlay spent entirely on Lukaku.

Manchester United have reached an agreement to re-sign Cristiano Ronaldo
Image:Manchester United re-signed Cristiano Ronaldo for £19.75m

At the other end of the scale, Everton kept their finances largely under lock and key with a league-low £1.6m spent on signings, with Watford (£4.5m), Southampton (£15m), Wolves (£16.4m) and Burnley (£17.5m) also among the most frugal teams during the window.

SELLING

Aston Villa top the table for funds received during the window after cashing in on the record-breaking £100m for Grealish, while Chelsea replenished the club’s coffers with a cool £94.4m from sales: Tammy Abraham (£34m to Roma), Kurt Zouma (£29.8m to West Ham), Fikayo Tomori (£25m), Olivier Giroud (£1.7m, both to AC Milan) and Victor Moses (£3.9m to Spartak Moscow).

Olivier Giroud celebrates his goal for AC Milan
Image:AC Milan signed Olivier Giroud from Chelsea for £1.7m

Brighton (£50m from White), Southampton (£40m from Danny Ings and Jannik Vestergaard), Norwich (£38m from Buendia) were among the biggest sellers.

Manchester United (£30m), Manchester City (£27.3m), Arsenal (£25m) and Liverpool (£24.5m) all collected modest totals from sales, while Watford (£10m), Wolves (£4m) and Tottenham (£2.5m) recovered smaller sums.

BrentfordBurnleyCrystal PalaceEvertonLeedsLeicesterNewcastle and West Ham emerged from the window without a penny from outgoings for disclosed fees.

NET SPEND

Here’s where it matters: what was the final net spend after factoring incomings and outgoings?

The top three teams for net expenditure remain unchanged from the spending chart, with Arsenal the most spendthrift club with a £131.8m net spend, followed by Manchester United (£103.7m) and Manchester City (£72.7m).

Ramsdale signs for Arsenal
Image:Arsenal signed Aaron Ramsdale from Sheffield United for £30m

The next biggest net spenders were Big Six challengers West Ham (63.3m) and Leicester City (£55m), followed by Tottenham (£54.6m), Leeds (£43m), Brentford (£31.1m), Crystal Palace (£28.5m), Newcastle (£25m), Burnley (£17.5m), Wolves (12.4m), Liverpool (£11.5m), Chelsea (£3.1m) and Everton (£1.6m).

Five clubs recorded profit in their summer business with Southampton registering a league-topping £25m surplus, followed by Brighton (£17.9m), Aston Villa (£7m), Norwich (£6.1m) and Watford (£5.5m).

TOTAL TRANSFERS

In terms of incomings, Norwich drafted a league-high 10 permanent signings and also drafted another four on loan deals as the Canaries look to secure survival this term with proceeds from the sale of Buendia, while WatfordAston Villa and Leeds also recruited heavily.

Tzolis has joined Norwich from PAOK on a five-year deal (Credit: Matt Usher, Norwich City)
Image:Christos Tzolis joined Norwich from PAOK for £10m on a five-year deal (Credit: Matt Usher, Norwich City)

Meanwhile, Chelsea maintained their trend of loaning out the most players with 17 shipped out on short-term deals, while Brighton also appear to be adopting a similar approach by equalling the Blues tally for players temporarily leaving the club.

ChelseaTottenham and Watford also completed considerable summer clear-outs, each offloading 22 players on a permanent basis – with Newcastle and Southampton each sanctioning 18 departures.

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