Manchester City’s clear-out after an off-season of heavy spending was in full flow on Wednesday, with Joe Hart, Wilfried Bony and Samir Nasri sent out on loan as new coach Pep Guardiola attempted to streamline his squad on the final day of the transfer window.
Hart, the England goalkeeper, was loaned to Italian club Torino for the rest of the season after dropping to third choice at City behind new signing Claudio Bravo and Willy Caballero under Guardiola. In announcing Hart’s departure after 10 years at the Etihad Stadium, City said he was a “key figure in a golden age in the club’s history.”
Bony, who hasn’t played a minute for City since Guardiola’s arrival, has joined Stoke for the remainder of the season. The Ivory Coast striker’s career has stalled after joining from Swansea for 28 million pounds ($36.6 million) in January 2015, with a combination of international call-ups, injuries, illness and poor form preventing him from establishing himself at City.
“Bringing Wilfried in was a no-brainer for us to be perfectly honest, because he knows the Premier League and has scored plenty of goals at this level,” said Stoke manager Mark Hughes, referring to Bony’s record of scoring 130 goals in 278 career appearances. “Eighteen months ago he was being bought for a hugely significant amount of money, so we know that we are bringing in a top quality striker.”
Nasri was the third player to leave on loan, with the Frenchman heading to Spanish club Sevilla for the season. Guardiola said Nasri returned for preseason training “overweight” and played him only once in City’s first five games, as a substitute against West Ham on Sunday.
France centre back Eliaquim Mangala could also leave City on deadline day.
Guardiola has overseen the spending of more than $200 million on new players since taking over as coach this off-season, and has been looking to trim his 30-man squad.
Gabon midfielder Didier Ndong joined Sunderland from French side Lorient for 16 million euros ($17.8 million), the seventh signing by recently hired manager David Moyes.
“Maybe the Sunderland fans don’t know me yet,” Ndong said, “but I promise that they will quickly discover that I will give everything for them and the club.
“Today is the most beautiful day of my life.”
Burnley said the club has broken its transfer record for the second time this month to sign Ireland midfielder Jeff Hendrick from second-tier Derby. The promoted team signed Belgium midfielder Steven Defour on August 12 for a record fee, reportedly 7.5 million ($9.8 million).