Perez joins Gunners attack as EPL spending soars
Arsenal completed a move for Spanish striker Lucas Perez as the clock ticked down towards Wednesday’s 2200 GMT deadline in the mid-year transfer window.
Premier League clubs have already surpassed their previous record of 870 million pounds ($1.1 billion, one billion euros) of spending in a single window, and that could soar above one billion pounds by the deadline.
British media reports said Arsenal had paid Depotivo La Coruna around 17 million pounds to sign 27-year-old Perez.
“He’s not only a goalscorer, he’s a guy who combines well with partners, who can give a final ball and makes good runs,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told the club website.
“He’s got a good eye for goal and had an outstanding season last year.”
Perez scored 19 goals for Deportivo last season, including 17 in La Liga.
Arsenal are reported to have seen off competition from Premier League rivals Everton to secure his signature.
Perez follows Swiss international midfielder Granit Xhaka, Japanese forward Takuma Asano and young English centre-back Rob Holding in arriving at Arsenal during the transfer window.
The north London club are also believed to be close to signing Germany defender Shkodran Mustafi from Valencia for around 35 million pounds.
Jack Wilshere, meanwhile, could be about to leave the Emirates Stadium, amid reports he will be allowed to join another club on loan.
The England midfielder, 24, made only three appearances due to injury last season and has slipped further down Wenger’s midfield pecking order following Xhaka’s arrival from Borussia Moenchengladbach.
– Manchester moneybags –
The English top flight’s other big clubs kept their powder dry on the transfer front on Tuesday.
England goalkeeper Joe Hart was poised to complete a season-long loan move to Italian side Torino after falling out of favour under new Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola.
Chelsea allowed two strikers to go out on loan, with France international Loic Remy moving to Crystal Palace and 22-year-old Englishman Patrick Bamford joining promoted Burnley’s effort to stay up.
Spending in the Premier League has rocketed after new television rights deals worth an estimated eight billion pounds took effect on the eve of the season.
Hull City became the latest club to break their transfer record when they signed English midfielder Ryan Mason from Tottenham Hotspur for an undisclosed fee.
The spending has not been confined to the top flight, either. Aston Villa paid a Championship-record 15 million pounds to sign striker Jonathan Kodjia from second-tier rivals Bristol City.
The two Manchester clubs have been the major players during the transfer window, with Manchester United and Manchester City each reported to have spent close to 150 million pounds on new players.
United set a new world transfer record by spending a reported 89 million pounds to bring French midfielder Paul Pogba back to the club from Juventus.
Jose Mourinho’s side also spent big on Eric Bailly and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, as well as acquiring Zlatan Ibrahimovic on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain.
Guardiola has prioritised youth at City, putting his faith in burgeoning talents such as John Stones, Leroy Sane and Gabriel Jesus.
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