Latest Transfer Update at 31-08-11
Per Mertesacker: Expected to sign for Arsenal
ARSENAL TO SEAL DEFENSIVE DUO DEALS
Arsenal were being linked with further signings on transfer deadline day after swooping for defensive duo Per Mertesacker and Andre Santos.
The Gunners were expected to formalise the acquisitions of Germany centre-back Mertesacker and Brazil left-back Santos today after both flew into London to undergo medicals.
The pair's arrival cannot come quickly enough for an Arsenal side who have endured one of their most miserable starts to a season in recent memory.
Manager Arsene Wenger has been urged by disgruntled fans to splash the cash to get them out of trouble and there is no shortage of money to spend today, even after the reported £8million and £6.2million fees for Mertesacker and Santos are paid to Werder Bremen and Fenerbahce, respectively.
Wenger yesterday completed the signing of South Korea captain Park Chu-young, who penned what is thought to be a two-year contract.
Park, who snubbed a move to Lille at the 11th hour after deciding to leave Monaco, will leave the Gunners - possibly temporarily - in 2013 to undertake military service in his homeland.
But he told Arsenal Player: "I don't feel rushed. I just feel really proud to have two-and-a-half years at Arsenal.
"They are the last team I will be with before I go back to Korea. I will do my best to show what I can do in the next two-and-a-half years."
The 26-year-old added: "I'm very honoured and I feel very happy to be at Arsenal. They are a team that I dreamed about when I was young. I got a phone call from my club and they told me that Arsenal were interested in signing me.
"At first, I didn't believe it and I needed to check that it really was Arsenal."
Park underwent a medical at Lille before Arsenal moved to gazump the French champions on Saturday.
"A lot has happened in two days and it feels like a big, big step up," said Park.
"But that doesn't mean that I won't be able to perform. I will work very hard, I will train very hard, and I will show that I am able to be part of this Arsenal team."
Park is a cousin of Manchester United star Park Ji-sung, who preceded him as South Korea captain.
The newcomer said: "I haven't spoken with him but, when I do, I will ask for advice.
"He has experience in the Premier League, so I will ask how he settled in on and off the pitch."
Bremen's director of sport Klaus Allofs expects the Mertesacker switch to be finalised without a hitch.
"Everything has been agreed between Werder and Arsenal," he told Germany's dpa agency. "There are just a few things that are missing before we can announce the transfer as complete."
That should now take place at a press conference in the German city, although Mertesacker's presence in Bremen is unlikely.
He is back with the Germany national team in Dusseldorf preparing for Friday's Euro 2012 qualifier with Austria and cannot expect to be given any more free time.
"Per asked me if he could have the day off because he had an offer," revealed Germany coach Joachim Low yesterday. "I expect him back this evening."
And when Germany take to the field on Friday night, Mertesacker's official club allegiance should read Arsenal - much to the disappointment of his Bremen team-mates.
"I am sad," said his central defensive partner Naldo. "I have played four years with him, but Arsenal is a top club."
Mertesacker will not leave Germany for long, though, since one of his first games as an Arsenal player will take him to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League in a fortnight's time.