Man City sign Nolito, Palace rope in Townsend as EPL clubs begin spending

  • AP
  • Updated: Jul 01, 2016 17:26 IST
Spain’s Nolito celebrates after scoring a goal against Turkey in Euro 2016 in Stade de Nice. (REUTERS)

The first day of what likely will be the busiest and biggest-spending transfer window ever seen in English soccer began with Manchester City and Crystal Palace signing forwards on Friday.

Spain international Nolito became City’s second signing under new coach Pep Guardiola — after Germany midfielder Ilkay Gundogan — when he joined from Celta Vigo on a four-year deal. No financial details were disclosed, but British media reported the fee to be 13.8 million pounds ($18.3 million).

Palace then announced the club-record signing of Andros Townsend for 13 million pounds ($17.3 million) on a five-year deal, with the England winger ending his brief spell at Newcastle following its relegation from the Premier League.

Europe’s summer transfer window opened for business on Friday and Premier League clubs are set to dominate, even more so than normal. The world’s richest domestic league is starting its new domestic and international TV rights deals for 2016-19, worth around 8.3 billion pounds ($11 billion). That’s an increase of around 70 percent from the last deal.

The 29-year-old Nolito, who played under Guardiola at Barcelona from 2008-11, can play as a central striker or on the wing and will freshen up City’s attack.

He started all four of Spain’s matches at the European Championship.

“Pep Guardiola is one of the best managers in the world,” Nolito said. “He knows a lot about the game and he’s going to help me progress as a player, and I’m sure he’ll get the best out of me.”

Townsend ensured he will not be starting this season in England’s second tier by securing a move back to London with Palace. The winger left Tottenham for Newcastle in January but couldn’t stop the northeast team from relegation, despite scoring four goals in 13 games and being one of the form players in the second half of the season.

“It’s fantastic that we’ve managed to get a player of Andros’ quality into the club,” Palace chairman Steve Parish said.

Striker Dwight Gayle went the opposite direction, moving to St. James’ Park on a five-year deal.

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