By CAITLIN MURRAY
Manchester United may still have some serious question marks defensively, but did finalize the acquisition of one of the world’s best attacking players in landing Argentine winger Angel Di Maria from Real Madrid.
Di Maria signed a five-year contract with Man United on Tuesday after passing a medical. The 26-year-old Argentine international joins the Red Devils via an English record transfer fee of $98.9 million. He could make his debut in Saturday’s Premiership tilt vs. Burnley.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Spain and there were a lot of clubs interested in me, but United is the only club that I would have left Real Madrid for,” Di Maria said in a press release. “Louis van Gaal is a fantastic coach with a proven track record of success and I am impressed by the vision and determination everyone has to get this club back to the top — where it belongs. I now just cannot wait to get started.”
The acquisition of Di Maria comes as Van Gaal attempts to revive Man United, which finished an embarrassing seventh overall in the Premier League last season under David Moyes. The marquee signing of Di Maria may not be enough to quiet critics, but should add some needed pace and technical skill to the squad’s midfield.
Here’s a look at the other transfer news today:
EVERTON SIGN ETO’O TO TWO-YEAR DEAL
Samuel Eto’o has bounced around different countries throughout his career, but he will be staying in England this time around.
Eto’o agreed to a two-year deal with Everton as a free agent on Tuesday, and is Toffees manae Roberto Martinez’s
The Cameroon international, 33, was a free agent after being released by Chelsea at the end of last season.
He becomes manager Roberto Martinez’s sixth signing of the summer.
Eto’o — four times crowned African Footballer of the Year — was keen to stay in the Premier League, despite interest from Ajax, and was considered by Liverpool before they completed the signing of Mario Balotelli from AC Milan on Monday.
The striker told Everton’s website: “I am very happy to be here, I am looking forward greatly to putting on the Blue shirt of Everton. I have been very impressed by the style of play Everton adopt. I could see straight away that at this club I will have the opportunity to play football.”
BAYERN MUCH SIGNS BENATIA TO 5-YEAR DEAL; ROMA ADDS MANOLAS
Bayern Munich added yet another talented player to their healthy stable of stars, signing coveted Moroccan centerback Mehdi Benatia from AS Roma to a five-year deal. Benatia, 27, is expected to help the reigning Bundesliga champions make up for the loss of the injured Javi Martinez, and arrives at Bayern after a strong season in Serie A that saw Benatia make 33 appearances and score five goals for Roma.
Before joining the Italian heavyweights last season, the Morocco international spent three seasons at Udinese. He has also played for French clubs Clermont, Lorient in Tours in his career.
Benatia was linked to a number of top teams this summer – including Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal, Monaco, and Manchester City – but ultimately chose to sign with Pep Guardiola’s German side.
Roma, meanwhile, have replaced Benatia with Olympiakos defender Kostas Manolas, who agreed to a five-year contract on Tuesday. The transfer fee has been reported at £10.4million.
PSV have added 27-year-old Mexican international Andres Guardado via a one-year loan from Valencia. (REPORT)
Hull City have signed 30-year-old Englishman Michael Dawson away from the Tottenham Spurs on a three-year deal. The Spurs are targeting Sevilla defender Federico Fazio as a replacement. (REPORT)
FC Barcelona and São Paulo FC have reached an initial agreement for 24-year-old right back Douglas Pereira, with the Brazilian heading to Barca for a medical check this week. (REPORT)
What do you of these transfers? Can Di Maria help Manchester United reclaim their former glory? Is Everton a good club for Eto’o? What about the moves of Benatia and Manolas?
Share your thoughts below.