| 17.9°C Dublin

City land Garcia in £16m swoop...

Manchester City added nearly £20m of Champions League experience to their squad last night with the signings of Maicon from Internazionale and Javi Garcia from Benfica.

Roberto Mancini's league champions hope to make more of an impact in Europe this season and, after the signing of three English players with limited European experience, they brought two established names to the Etihad Stadium yesterday.

The deal for Garcia from Benfica was done late last night for a fee of £16m. The 25-year-old Spain international midfielder is a natural replacement for Nigel de Jong, who made a move to AC Milan. Garcia, who was at Real Madrid as a youngster, can also play at centre-back.

Maicon, who joined for £3m, played under Mancini at Inter for two seasons before being part of Jose Mourinho's treble winners of 2010, who won the club's first European Cup since 1965. Maicon has 66 Brazil caps.

An attacking right-back, Maicon will fit well into Mancini's new 3-4-1-2 system.

The arrivals of Garcia and Maicon were followed by an 11th hour deal for Fiorentina central defender Matija Nastasic for an undisclosed fee, with Stefan Savic going in the opposite direction.

City had earlier signed winger Scott Sinclair from Swansea for a fee thought to be £8m and veteran goalkeeper Richard Wright, who was part of the Ipswich squad last season.

Tottenham, meanwhile, were doing their best to spend the money received from the sale of Luka Modric yesterday.

They paid £12m to Lyons for France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who is more than 15 years younger than Spurs' current No 1 Brad Friedel, and then made a late swoop for Clint Dempsey after his proposed move to Liverpool fell through.

However, their efforts to sign Porto's midfielder Joao Moutinho failed. The 25-year-old Portuguese international played at Porto under Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas, who wanted him as a replacement for the departed Modric.

Rafael van der Vaart ended his two-year spell at White Hart Lane yesterday, leaving to join Hamburg, where he previously played between his spells at Ajax and Real Madrid.

On a busy day for Spurs, young winger Danny Rose joined Sunderland on loan and midfielder Giovani dos Santos signed a four-year deal with Spanish side Real Mallorca.

Fulham filled the void left by Dempsey by completing the signing of Dimitar Berbatov from Manchester United on an initial two-year deal.

The 31-year-old Bulgarian said he was "delighted" with the move and was "looking forward" to playing under Martin Jol, who managed him at Tottenham.

"As soon as I was aware of Fulham's interest my decision to join was an easy one to make," he said.

Jol in turn declared himself delighted to buy a player with Berbatov's class. "He's a player of great quality and technical ability who will give me the attacking option I've been looking for," the Dutch manager said.

"When he's not scoring goals, his ingenuity often leads to chances being created for his team-mates."

Queen's Park Rangers, one of the busiest clubs this summer, completed a swap deal with Marseilles. Joey Barton, recently stripped of the Rangers captaincy, joined the Ligue 1 club with their defensive midfielder Stephane M'Bia coming the other way.

"I'm very happy to come to England," said M'Bia. "It is my dream. I want to do my best. I want to impress in the Premier League. Everyone is happy."

Mbia (26) is QPR's 12th signing since the end of last season. He has agreed a two-year deal.

Everton reached an agreement last night to sign Bryan Oviedo, a Costa Rican left-winger who had been playing for Copenhagen.

Toffees manager David Moyes attended Oviedo's successful work permit hearing in London yesterday morning ahead of his £1.2m move.

Southampton signed Gaston Ramirez from Bologna. The Uruguayan midfielder was one of the most exciting young players in Serie A last season, and his move had been close for some time pending negotiations over money owed to Ramirez's first club, Penarol.

Charlie Adam joined Stoke from Liverpool on a four-year deal, as Brendan Rodgers continued his Anfield clear-out.

"Not only will his creativity and his eye for delivering a pass be a great asset to us," said Stoke manager Tony Pulis, who also snapped up midfielder Maurice Edu from Rangers. "He scored 12 goals for Blackpool in the Premier League two seasons ago."

Adam described Stoke as a "club on the up".

Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner completed a loan move to the Italian champions Juventus.

Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien joined Spanish champions Real Madrid on a season-long loan. The 29-year-old Ghanaian was signed by Real boss Jose Mourinho when he was Blues manager in 2005.

Another midfielder temporarily on his way out of Stamford Bridge is former Liverpool star Yossi Benayoun, who has returned to West Ham on loan.

Aston Villa bought 21-year-old Chesterfield striker Jordan Bowery for £500,000. "He's a good player," said new Villa manager Paul Lambert. "The hunger will be there for him, he could surprise a few people."

Villa added Genk's Belgian striker Christian Benteke and 22-year-old midfielder Ashley Westwood on a four-year deal from League One team Crewe.

In Scotland, Celtic had a productive day, bringing in three new players for their Champions League campaign with another possibly on the way.

Manager Neil Lennon first swooped for Nigeria defender Efe Ambrose from Israeli side FC Ashdod on a three-year deal and then signed Getafe striker Miku on a season-long loan with an option to buy the 27-year-old Venezuelan.

Celtic also signed Slovakia goalkeeper Lubos Kamenar (25) from French side Nantes in a similar deal and Lennon revealed he has another striker on his radar. (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent