Batshuayi and Crouch move in frantic end to transfer window

Fulham made a surprise swoop for forgotten Liverpool winger Lazar Markovic

Michy Batshuayi will join Crystal Palace on a loan deal. Photograph: Reuters

Michy Batshuayi will join Crystal Palace on a loan deal. Photograph: Reuters

 

Michy Batshuayi and Peter Crouch made headline-grabbing returns to the Premier League while Newcastle broke their transfer record on deadline day.

Chelsea striker Batshuayi, who spent the first half of the season on loan at Valencia, returned to England on a temporary deal with Crystal Palace having earlier been linked with a host of other clubs.

Veteran former England striker Crouch, who turned 38 this week, swapped Championship Stoke for Burnley while Newcastle spent around £20million on Paraguay forward Miguel Almiron.

Batshuayi, 25, was touted as a possible signing for Everton, West Ham, Tottenham and Real Betis at various points during the day but Palace won the race.

Wage demands may have been a stumbling block for a number of clubs while, in Spurs’ case, Chelsea were reportedly not willing to strengthen a direct rival.

The Belgium international has struggled to establish himself at Stamford Bridge since his £33million arrival from Marseille in 2016 but remains a highly-regarded player.

Crouch was released by Stoke to join the Clarets on a short-term deal until the end of the season. The deal saw Wales international forward Sam Vokes move in the opposite direction.

Crouch, whose previous clubs include Tottenham, Liverpool and Aston Villa, will be hoping to add to the 108 goals he has scored in the top flight throughout his career.

“I feel like the older I get, the more hungry I get,” said Crouch.

Newcastle’s signing of Almiron from Major League Soccer side Atlanta United eclipsed the £16million they paid for Michael Owen in 2005. The 24-year-old has signed a five-and-a-half-year deal at St James’ Park.

He is joined on Tyneside by Monaco full-back Antonio Barreca, who has signed on loan for the rest of the season with the option of a permanent deal.

Fulham had a busy day by making a surprise swoop for forgotten Liverpool winger Lazar Markovic and offloading controversial forward Aboubakar Kamara.

Serbian Markovic, who failed to impress in almost five years at Anfield, signed on a permanent deal after being granted a free transfer. Kamara, recently suspended by Fulham pending internal disciplinary proceedings, joined Turkish club Yeni Malatyaspor on loan.

Fulham, struggling in the Premier League’s bottom three, also signed Norway defender or midfielder Havard Nordtveit on loan for the remainder of the season.

Arsenal strengthened their squad with loan signing of Barcelona playmaker Denis Suarez while Leicester brought in Monaco midfielder Youri Tielemans until the end of the season. Foxes midfielder Adrien Silva moved to the Ligue 1 side in return, also until the end of the campaign, and was joined there by Tottenham winger Georges-Kevin N’Koudou.

Marouane Fellaini’s time at Manchester United appears to be coming to an end. It’s understood an agreement has been reached in principle for the midfielder to join Chinese Super League club Shandong Luneng.

With the Chinese transfer deadline not until February 28, no deal has yet been completed.

Wolves equalled their club record transfer fee of £18million to make Jonny Otto’s loan switch from Atletico Madrid permanent, with the Spain left-back signing a contract until 2023.

Everton defender Cuco Martina has joined Feyenoord on loan until the end of the season after his spell at Stoke was ended while winger Yannick Bolasie left Goodison Park for Anderlecht, also on loan.

Meanwhile, there were reports Everton also rejected an offer of £26million from Paris St Germain in key midfielder Idrissa Gueye.

Manchester City signed teenage midfielder Ante Palaversa from Hajduk Split and immediately loaned him back to the Croatian side.

Bournemouth defender Tyrone Mings joined Aston Villa on loan while West Ham midfielder Reece Oxford will play at German club Augsburg until the end of the campaign.

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