Football: Ronaldo return headlines busy final day of Premier League transfer deals

A deal had been struck to bring Cristiano Ronaldo back to Old Trafford for a fee that could rise to $36.5 million.
A deal had been struck to bring Cristiano Ronaldo back to Old Trafford for a fee that could rise to $36.5 million.PHOTO: AFP

MANCHESTER (AFP) - Cristiano Ronaldo's return to Manchester United was confirmed by the English giants on Tuesday (Aug 31) as Premier League clubs scrambled to strengthen before the close of the transfer window.

United announced on Friday a deal had been struck with Juventus to bring the five-time Ballon d'Or winner back to Old Trafford for a fee that could rise to €23 million (S$36.5 million) for the 36-year-old.

The Portugal captain scored 118 goals in 292 games during his first spell at United, winning his first Ballon d'Or and Champions League title, as well as three Premier League titles, one FA Cup and two League Cups.

"This is absolutely 100 per cent the stuff that dreams are made of," Ronaldo posted on Instagram.

"Everyone who knows me, knows about my never ending love for Manchester United. The years I spent in this club were absolutely amazing and the path we've made together is written in gold letters in the history of this great and amazing institution."

Ronaldo's return has already had a knock-on effect with United winger Daniel James joining Leeds for a reported £25 million.

The Wales attacker has started two of United's three Premier League games so far this season, but was expected to struggle for game time once Ronaldo arrived and Marcus Rashford and Edinson Cavani returned to full fitness.

James was on the verge of joining Leeds in January 2019 from Swansea before a deadline day deal collapsed.

"It's all happened in the last day or two," said James. " got my head around it and this is where I wanted to be moving forward."

Liverpool did not add to their only signing of the window, centre-back Ibrahima Konate, but secured the future of captain Jordan Henderson on a long-term contract that runs till 2025.

Top-of-the-table Tottenham will help ease Barcelona's financial woes with a deal for right-back Emerson, believed to be worth €30 million.

At the other end of the table, rock bottom Arsenal could take their summer spending to £150 million after agreeing a £20 million fee with Bologna for Japanese international defender Takehiro Tomiyasu.

Hector Bellerin has left the Gunners to join Real Betis on loan, while Reiss Nelson has joined Feyenoord on a season-long loan.

Chelsea secured the signing of Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez on a season-long loan deal to further strengthen Thomas Tuchel's wealth of options. The Spanish international has been a key player of Diego Simeone's reign at Atletico, but fell down the pecking order last season as Los Rojiblancos won La Liga.

West Ham have strengthened ahead of a busy season which will take in Europa League football with the signing of Croatia midfielder Nikola Vlasic.

The 23-year-old, who previously had a unsuccessful stint in England at Everton, joins from CSKA Moscow for a reported initial fee of £25 million having been named Russian Premier League player of the year in 2020.

"I was really impressed with how determined Nikola was to become a West Ham player," said Hammers boss David Moyes. "It's that hunger and ambition that fits with what we are trying to build here at the club."

West Ham have also brought in Czech Republic midfielder Alex Kral on loan from Spartak Moscow.

Leicester have bolstered their attacking options with the arrival of Ademola Lookman on loan from RB Leipzig.

Everton manager Rafael Benitez will be reunited at a third different club with Venezuelan striker Salomon Rondon.

The 31-year-old will join the Toffees from Dalian, having been brought to China by Benitez in 2019.

Rondon will replace Moise Kean, who has rejoined Juventus on a two-year loan with an obligation to buy.

Brighton signed Spain left-back Marc Cucurella for £15 million after paying his buyout clause from La Liga side Getafe, while Crystal Palace have completed a £15 million deal for Celtic's French under-21 striker Odsonne Edouard.