Mid-table Premier League teams West Ham and Stoke made a signing each to ramp up their squads.
While West Ham signed Portugal defender Jose Fonte from Southampton in an £8 million ($9 million) swoop on Friday, Stoke signed West Bromwich Albion striker Saido Berahino for an initial fee of £12 million ($14 million).
Fonte had been dropped by Southampton manager Claude Puel earlier this month after the club captain handed in a transfer request. The 33-year-old was linked with moves to Liverpool and Manchester City, but Hammers boss Slaven Bilic convinced him to move to east London.
Fonte, who had been at Southampton for over three years, agreed a two-and-half-year contract with West Ham.The Euro 2016 winner also has an option to extend the deal for another season.
“The manager was a very big influence. I thought that he really wanted me and that he sold me the project and the ambition of the Club,” Fonte told the club’s website.
I am delighted to announce the signing Jose Fonte.— David Gold (@davidgold) January 20, 2017
the Portugal international centre-half for a fee of £8million. dg pic.twitter.com/CQCPMjy0iB
“With the way that West Ham is going we can only look to be challenging in the top eight.
OFFICIAL: West Ham have signed Portuguese international centre-back Jose Fonte from Southampton. pic.twitter.com/LyG8JyAgGL— West Ham Central (@WestHam_Central) January 20, 2017
Fonte will not be available for Saturday’s Premier League fixture at Middlesbrough, but could make his debut when Manchester City visit the London Stadium on February 1.
Berahino agreed on a five-and-a-half-year contract with the Premier League club after finally getting his wish to leave the Hawthorns. The fee could rise to £15 million based on the success of the player and his club during his time at the Britannia Stadium. The 23-year-old had been a target for Stoke for the past three transfer windows and was also frustrated when a mooted move to Tottenham fell through in both 2015 and 2016.
Berahino’s contract with Albion had been due to expire at the end of the season and he rejected a new deal in December.
The former England Under-21 international hadn’t played for West Brom since September as boss Tony Pulis lost patience with his unsettled star.
“After a frustrating period he’s now desperately keen to reignite his career and we look forward to seeing him do that with us,” Stoke chief executive Tony Scholes said.
Berahino, who scored 23 league goals in 105 appearances for the Baggies, is not available to make his debut in Stoke’s Premier League clash with Manchester United on Saturday.