EPL 2022, transfer news, Manchester United signings, Christian Eriksen, Raphinha joins Barcelona, ​​Premier League

Manchester United backed up last night’s landslide victory over Melbourne Victory by adding another star to their midfield ranks, signing free agent Christian Eriksen.

Meanwhile, Raphinha has joined Barcelona from Leeds, while there has been more action around the Premier League as the new season draws closer.

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STUN United victory in 4 minutes | 00:44

ERIKSEN JOINS UTD

Christian Eriksen has said he opted to join Manchester United on a free transfer because the Old Trafford club is “special”.

Eriksen signed a three-year contract with United on Friday after an impressive loan spell with Brentford in the second half of last season.

The 30-year-old’s move to United completes an incredible comeback after his brush with death last year.

Eriksen suffered cardiac arrest on the pitch in Copenhagen while playing for Denmark in the European Championship and was forced to leave Inter Milan after recovering due to Serie A health regulations.

The Danish players were in shock as paramedics assisted team-mate Christian Eriksen during the UEFA EURO 2020 game between Denmark and Finland. (Photo by Friedemann Vogel/POOL/AFP)Source: AFP

Eriksen, fitted with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator, proved his form and fitness while on loan at Brentford in the second half of last season.

He played 11 times in the Premier League for the Bees, scoring once and providing four assists.

Eriksen was pursued by several other teams but, despite their recent struggles, it was too hard to resist the lure of playing for such a historic global giant.

“Manchester United are a special club, and I can’t wait to get started,” Eriksen said.

“I’ve had the privilege of playing at Old Trafford on several occasions, but to do it in United’s red shirt will be an incredible feeling.”

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Eriksen has experience working with United manager Erik Ten Hag after training with Ajax as part of his return to football following cardiac arrest.

Ten Hag, who took charge of United at the end of the season after leaving the Dutch champions, is looking to revamp his new team after finishing a disappointing sixth in the Premier League last season.

“I’ve seen Erik’s work at Ajax and I know the level of detail and preparation he and his team put in every day. It’s clear he’s a fantastic coach,” added Eriksen.

“After speaking with him and learning more about his vision and the way he wants the team to play, I’m even more excited for the future.

“I still have big ambitions in the game, there’s so much I know I can achieve, and this is the perfect place to continue my journey.”

Eriksen is Ten Hag’s second signing following the arrival of Dutch left-back Tyrell Malacia from Feyenoord.

Ten Hag is also said to be close to an agreement with Argentinian defender Lisandro Martinez from Ajax.

However, United’s plans for the new season have been disrupted by reports that Cristiano Ronaldo is keen to leave the club after failing to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

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DREAM MOVEMENT FOR RAPHINHA

Brazilian winger Raphinha said on Friday he was ‘fulfilling a childhood dream’ as he was officially introduced as a new Barcelona player.

“It’s a huge honor to be here,” Raphinha said during the event at Barca’s training center.

“All my idols have played and made history here, so it’s a huge honor and I can’t thank Barca enough for giving me the chance to wear this shirt.

“I hope I can achieve half of what my idols have achieved here. It’s a dream come true for me and my family. I’m going to do my best to help this club win (trophies).

Barca announced Raphinha’s arrival on Wednesday after agreeing a deal with Premier League club Leeds United, but gave no details on the length of his contract or the transfer fee.

Local media reported that the Brazilian signed for five seasons and that Barca will pay Leeds around 55 million euros ($55 million) plus another 15 million in potential add-ons.

“He’s a player that (coach) Xavi (Hernandez) wanted,” said Barcelona president Joan Laporta, who accompanied the player during the presentation.

Laporta added: “The beautiful game is back at Barcelona and it’s very meaningful for our club.

“For us it’s very exciting because all of us who lived through Barca’s golden age, there has always been a Brazilian.

“Raphinha reminds us of this tradition; and he is here to take this stick.

Xavi ‘insisted a lot and we at the club did everything we could’, added Laporta, who pointed out that Raphinha showed ‘the desire to come to Barca’.

Laporta gave Raphinha a Barca jersey with his name on it, but without a number, before the two signed the contract in front of the cameras.

Raphinha is Barca’s third signing for the summer transfer window, after Danish defender Andreas Christensen from Chelsea and Ivorian midfielder Franck Kessie from AC Milan, both on free transfers.

The Catalans have also been boosted by French international winger Ousmane Dembele, whose contract expired at the end of June, agreeing to ‘join’ the club on a two-year deal.

BRENTFORD GETS A NEW GLOVE

Brentford signed Albania goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha on a free transfer from Lazio on Thursday.

Strakosha’s transfer to the Premier League club is subject to international clearance but he is expected to join his new side at their German training camp in the coming days.

The 27-year-old has played over 200 times for Lazio and won 19 caps for Albania.

Athens-born Strakosha endured an injury-plagued campaign last season but he cemented his role as Lazio’s first-choice keeper on his return to fitness.

“I’m happy that we managed to sign a top goalkeeper. He was number one at Lazio for a long time, which is very impressive,” said Brentford manager Thomas Frank.

Manchester City’s Algerian midfielder Riyad Mahrez celebrates scoring the opening goal in the UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg between Real Madrid CF and Manchester City at Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on May 4, 2022. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)Source: AFP

CITY LOCK IN MAHREZ

Riyad Mahrez signed a two-year contract extension with Premier League champions Manchester City on Friday.

Algerian winger Mahrez has been rewarded with a new contract which keeps him at City until 2025 after helping them retain the English title.

Since arriving from Leicester for £60m four years ago, Mahrez has made 189 appearances for Pep Guardiola’s side, scoring 63 goals and providing 45 assists.

The 31-year-old has won three Premier League titles, three League Cups and an FA Cup with City.

“I am very happy to sign the new contract. I enjoyed every minute of my time here. It’s a pleasure to be part of such an amazing club,” said Mahrez.

“Helping us achieve the success we have enjoyed over the past four seasons has been unforgettable and has left us all looking to achieve even more.