United land Blind, chase Falcao as deadline looms

Tom Williams

London (AFP) - Manchester United signed Netherlands star Daley Blind from Ajax for £14 million ($23 million, 17 million euros) and moved closer to a loan swoop for Monaco's Colombian striker Radamel Falcao as the transfer deadline loomed closer for England's Premier League clubs on Monday.

According to widespread reports in the British media, United have agreed a season-long loan move for 28-year-old Falcao for a fee of around 10 million euros ($13.1 million).

Sources at Monaco told AFP that United would then have the option of making the deal permanent for a fee of around 55 million euros ($72 million).

Falcao, who missed the World Cup with a serious knee injury, was reported to have arrived at United's training ground for a medical on Monday, with the deadline due to fall at 2200GMT.

United had already paid a British-record £59.7 million ($98 million, 75 million euros) to sign Angel di Maria from Real Madrid last week and their spending spree continued with the capture of Blind, who can play in defence or midfield and starred as the Netherlands reached the World Cup semi-finals under new Old Trafford manager Louis van Gaal.

"It is a real honour to sign for Manchester United," said Blind, who is the son of former Netherlands and Ajax star Danny Blind.

"Louis van Gaal is a tremendously talented coach, I have worked with him at Ajax and also for the Netherlands national team and I cannot wait to work with him at the biggest club in the world."

The deals for Falcao and Blind are expected to take United's close-season spending to around £150 million as the 20-time English champions look to rebuild following a disappointing seventh-place finish last season.

With Falcao in line to form a star-studded attack at Old Trafford alongside Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie, Javier Hernandez was allowed to leave the club in a loan move to Real Madrid.

The Mexico striker, nicknamed 'Chicharito' ('Little Pea'), scored 59 goals in 154 appearances for United after arriving from Guadalajara in 2010, but never managed to hold down a first-team place.

Danny Welbeck looks to be another striker on the way out of Old Trafford, with Arsenal reported to have agreed a fee for the 23-year-old England international.

- Hull break transfer record -

Hull City broke their transfer record to sign Uruguay striker Abel Hernandez from Italian side Palermo for a fee thought to be around £9.5 million.

The 24-year-old has signed a three-year contract with an option for a further year and will plug the gap left by Shane Long's departure for Southampton

Hernandez was followed into the KC Stadium by West Ham's Senegal midfielder Mohamed Diame, who made a £3.5 million switch after signing a three-year contract.

Tottenham Hotspur bolstered their ranks by signing France Under-21 international midfielder Benjamin Stambouli from Montpellier for around £4.7 million.

Promoted Burnley, meanwhile, signed Scottish forward George Boyd from Hull for a reported fee of £3 million and took promising English midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah on loan from Chelsea until January.

Another player leaving Chelsea on loan was Dutch midfielder Marco van Ginkel, who has followed Fernando Torres to AC Milan, while Morocco midfielder Karim El Ahmadi left Aston Villa for Feyenoord on a three-year deal.

Arsenal's Japan midfielder Ryo Miyaichi joined Dutch side FC Twente on loan for the rest of the season on Monday.

Miyaichi has made only six appearances for Arsenal since joining the Premier League club in January 2011 and his move to Twente is the fourth loan spell of his Gunners career.

Liverpool defender Sebastian Coates joined Sunderland on a season-long loan, while the Black Cats also landed Inter Milan midfielder Ricardo Alvarez for the rest of the campaign.

Crystal Palace signed Scotland midfielder James McArthur from Wigan for an undisclosed fee believed to be a club record.

The 26-year-old was joined at Palace by Tottenham defender Zeki Fryers, with both players agreeing three-year contracts.