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EPL splashes cash as Giroud makes Chelsea switch

Newly signed Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud (right) and defender Emerson Palmieri acknowledge the fans during the Blues' English Premier League match against Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge in London on Wednesday night. Chelsea lost 3-0.
Newly signed Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud (right) and defender Emerson Palmieri acknowledge the fans during the Blues' English Premier League match against Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge in London on Wednesday night. Chelsea lost 3-0.

EPL splashes cash as Giroud makes Chelsea switch

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang joined Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund for a club-record fee of around £56 million on Wednesday’s concluding day of business, with Olivier Giroud moving to Chelsea as part of a complicated transfer jigsaw.

The previous EPL record for a January window was £225 million in 2011.

Prior to Wednesday’s 2300 GMT deadline in England, Tottenham Hotspur announced the signing of Lucas Moura from Paris Saint-Germain but Manchester City pulled out of signing Leicester’s Riyad Mahrez.

Top Premier League clubs have splashed the cash in the January transfer window, desperate to qualify for the top four, which guarantees entry into the lucrative Champions League.

Aubameyang, 28, signed a contract with the Gunners until 2021, becoming Arsenal’s second big-name signing of the January transfer window after Henrikh Mkhitaryan joined from Manchester United.

His arrival will boost Arsene Wenger’s forward options after the departure of Alexis Sanchez to United in a swap deal with Mkhitaryan but raises questions about Alexandre Lacazette’s future with the Gunners.

The prolific Aubameyang compared himself to club legend Thierry Henry, telling Arsenal Player he was attracted by the “big history” of the club.

The Gabon international will be reunited at the Emirates Stadium with former Dortmund teammate Mkhitaryan – a tweet on Arsenal’s Twitter account pictured the two players together with the message “Friends reunited”.

Chelsea later announced the arrival of Arsenal striker Giroud on an 18-month contract for around £18 million and Michy Batshuayi’s departure for Borussia Dortmund in a loan deal until the end of the season.

Frenchman Giroud, 31, who has struggled to hold down a regular starting spot since joining Arsenal in 2012, said he was delighted to be joining their London rivals.

Belgian forward Batshuayi, 24, arrives in Dortmund as a direct replacement for Aubameyang, to complete the three-way puzzle.

Brazil winger Lucas challenged his new Spurs teammates to win the Champions League after arriving from PSG for a reported £25 million.

New Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Lucas Moura gestures to fans  at half-time in Spurs' English Premier League match against Manchester United at Wembley on Wednesday night.
New Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Lucas Moura gestures to fans at half-time in Spurs' English Premier League match against Manchester United at Wembley on Wednesday night.

Manchester City may have got nowhere with their interest in Mahrez, but the Premier League leaders paid a club-record fee of £57 million for young French centre-back Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao, in a deal confirmed on Tuesday.

Swansea, battling for Premier League survival, brought Ghanaian forward Andre Ayew back to Wales from West Ham late Wednesday – 18 months after he joined the Hammers for £20.5 million.

The Swans said they had re-signed the 28-year-old for a club record but undisclosed fee on a three-and-a-half year contract that will reunite Ayew with brother Jordan at the Liberty Stadium.

Newcastle, just a point above the bottom three, sealed a similar season-long loan move for Leicester striker Islam Slimani.

Slimani has struggled to live up to his £30 million price tag as Leicester’s most expensive signing, with 13 goals in 46 appearances since his arrival in 2016.

But Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez, speaking after his side’s 1-1 draw with Burnley on Wednesday, said: “He is a player who can fight with defenders, challenge and score goals.”

German World Cup winner Mesut Ozil gave Arsenal a big boost by finally agreeing a new contract that will see him become the highest paid player in the club’s history, according to the BBC, which said he would earn around £350,000 a week.

There was no official confirmation from Arsenal but Ozil posted a tweet with a picture of him signing photos with the message: “Had a busy day signing things.”

New Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte controls the ball on his City debut in their English Premier League match against West Brom at the Etihad on Wednesday night.
New Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte controls the ball on his City debut in their English Premier League match against West Brom at the Etihad on Wednesday night.

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