Players on the move
Jermain Defoe switches to Bournemouth from Sunderland and Swansea City sign up goalkeeper.
Strike while hot
England striker Defoe has promised to bring goals to Bournemouth once again after completing his move back to the south coast. Bournemouth confirmed yesterday that the 34-year-old had joined the club from Sunderland on a free transfer after a clause in his contract allowing him to do so had been triggered Sunderland’s relegation from the Premier League.
Defoe, who scored in a club record 10 consecutive league games for Bournemouth during a loan spell earlier in his career, admitted the decision to sign a three-year contract had been a straightforward one. He said: “It’s great to be back and I’m really looking forward to this challenge. When the opportunity came about to return to AFC Bournemouth, I just knew it was the right one. It was an easy decision, joining a top team with a top manager. It’s a great place to be. The Bournemouth fans know that every time I pull the shirt on, I will give 100 per cent, and the one thing I can guarantee is goals.”
Bournemouth, who finished in ninth place last season, have invested heavily in Defoe’s wage packet as they look to increase their goal tally, and manager Eddie Howe – a former teammate – was delighted to have got his man. Howe said: “This is a huge moment for the football club and another step in the right direction. We want to bring players here who can have a big impact on our continued rise and we believe Jermain fits that as a natural, proven goalscorer.
Elsewhere, Chelsea are expected to have the option of re-signing Nathan Ake once the defender completes a switch to Bournemouth. The 22-year-old Netherlands international was recalled from loan at Bournemouth in January by Chelsea manager Antonio Conte. But now he is willing to accede to Ake’s request to play regularly, with Bournemouth hoping to complete a deal. The fee for Ake, who can play in central defence, at left-back or midfield, is reportedly £20million (Dh95m) and includes a buy-back clause.
Safe hands for Swansea
Swansea City have signed Dutch goalkeeper Erwin Mulder on a free transfer. The 28-year-old arrives at the Liberty Stadium having turned down a new contract at Eredivisie club Heerenveen, for whom he played for the last two years. Mulder has signed a threeyear deal and becomes Swansea manager Paul Clement’s first signing of the summer.