City main mover on Europe's transfer deadline day

Associated Press Modified: September 1, 2012 at 12:03 am •  Published: August 31, 2012

LONDON (AP) — English champion Manchester City was the main mover among Europe's major teams on deadline day, spending a reported 40 million pounds ($63 million) as the continent's summer transfer window closed with a flurry of late sales on Friday.

UEFA's strict financial fair play rules, which are forcing clubs to only spend what they earn, and the tough economic climate have reined in spending compared to recent years.

Yet City, which had been quiet in the transfer market this summer by its standards, acted late to sign Brazil right back Maicon from Inter Milan, highly rated winger Scott Sinclair from Swansea, Serbia defender Matija Nastasic from Fiorentina and a back-up goalie in Richard Wright.

Arguably their biggest deal was secured minutes before the transfer window shut, however, when Spain midfielder Javi Garcia joined from Benfica. All the signings were for undisclosed fees but British media valued City's spending spree at around 38 million pounds ($60 million).

In return, manager Roberto Mancini sold Netherlands holding midfielder Nigel de Jong to AC Milan and moved striker Roque Santa Cruz to Spanish team Malaga on a season-long loan.

Malaga, which is in financial trouble but boosted by qualifying for the group stages of the Champions League, also signed Javier Saviola from Benfica and American center back Oguchi Onyewu from Sporting Lisbon.

After a quiet day in England, the final few hours drew a burst of activity with Tottenham signing United States forward Clint Dempsey from Fulham and France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris from Lyon for 10 million euros ($12.6 million), having earlier sold Rafael van der Vaart to his former German club, Hamburg.

There was no immediate confirmation of whether Tottenham had also landed highly rated Porto midfielder Joao Moutinho.

Dempsey followed Moussa Dembele from Fulham to Spurs, but the Cottagers made their own splashes on the last day, completing the signing of Dimitar Berbatov from Manchester United, plus Kieran Richardson from Sunderland and winger Ashkan Dejagah from Wolfsburg.

Liverpool missed out on Dempsey and failed to land any of its targets on the final day of the transfer window, while selling Charlie Adam to Stoke and loaning out midfielder Jay Spearing to Bolton. As well as Adam, Stoke signed American midfielder Maurice Edu from Glasgow Rangers.

Chelsea loaned Ghana midfielder Michael Essien to Real Madrid and Yossi Benayoun to West Ham on season-long deals.

Queens Park Rangers shifted combustible midfielder Joey Barton to French league leader Marseille in a one-year loan deal that had been widely expected for several days. Midfielder Stephane Mbia moved in the opposite direction.

Continue reading this story on the...