Wed, Feb 01, 2012 - Page 20 News List

Soccer clubs wheel and deal as transfer deadline approaches

AFP and AP, London and Milan, Italy

Everton have agreed a fee with Scottish champions Rangers for striker Nikica Jelavic, the English Premier League club said yesterday on transfer deadline day.

The 26-year-old Croatia international was at Everton’s Finch Farm training ground on Tuesday to undergo a medical and discuss personal terms.

No fee has been made public, but it is understood cash-strapped Rangers have valued the player at £8 million (US$12.6 million), having previously rejected a £7 million bid from English second-tier club West Ham United.

“Everton can confirm a fee has been agreed with Rangers for the transfer of Croatian international Nikica Jelavic,” a statement on the club’s Web site said.

Jelavic has scored 36 goals in 55 matches for Rangers since joining the Glasgow giants from Rapid Vienna in August 2010.

In London, Chelsea announced that they have signed Belgium international Kevin de Bruyne from KRC Genk, although the midfielder will spend the rest of the season on loan with the Jupiler League team.

The 20-year-old becomes the latest Belgian player on Chelsea’s books, joining compatriots Romelu Lukaku and Thibaut Courtois.

No fee was disclosed, but reports in Belgium have estimated the deal at 8 million euros (US$10.5 million).

Meanwhile, Sunderland confirmed that they have signed Manchester City and England defender Wayne Bridge on loan for the rest of the season.

“I’m hoping that with Wayne’s undoubted experience and ability he can be a big help to the team until the end of the season,” Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill said.

In Italy, Vincenzo Iaquinta moved to Cesena on loan from Serie A leaders Juventus, who signed Atalanta BC midfielder Simone Padoin yesterday.

Iaquinta joined Juventus from Udinese in for 11 million euros in 2007, but he has struggled with injuries over the past two years and has not played since March.

Midfielder Michele Pazienza also left Juve. The 29-year-old returned on loan to Udinese.

Padoin completed his move to Turin, signing a five-year deal. Juventus paid almost 5 million euros for the 27-year-old midfielder.

Meanwhile, AC Milan completed the signing of teenage striker Philipp Prosenik from Chelsea and Valeri Bojinov has returned to Lecce on loan from Portugal’s Sporting.

Bojinov started his career at Lecce.

The 25-year-old Bulgarian had been suspended by the Portuguese club following his actions in a cup game against Moreirense.

With the game 1-1 in stoppage-time, Sporting were awarded a penalty and Bojinov — who had not scored a spot-kick in nearly six years — pushed aside usual penalty-taker Matias Fernandez and placed the ball on the spot. Bojinov’s effort was saved.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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