Swansea City outcast Pozuelo makes Vallecano switch

The 22-year-old arrived at the Liberty Stadium from Real Betis last summer but struggled for consistency at the Liberty Stadium, scoring two goals in 36 appearances

Alejandro Pozuelo has departed Swansea City after just one season, leaving the club to join Spanish side Rayo Vallecano.

The Premier League team confirmed on Thursday that the 22-year-old attacking midfielder has returned to his homeland, moving to Rayo for an undisclosed fee.

Pozuelo joined Swansea from Real Betis on a three-year contract in July last year, but struggled for consistency in his only season at the Liberty Stadium, scoring two goals in 36 appearances.

His final appearance for the club came back in February in a Europa League clash with Napoli, and Pozuelo has now become the latest Spaniard to leave Swansea as they rebuild under manager Garry Monk.

Pozuelo’s departure follows that of Michu, who joined Napoli on loan earlier this month, and Alvaro Vazquez, whose loan from Getafe ended with Swansea opting not to activate their option to buy.

Pablo Hernandez and Jose Canas also appear set to leave the Liberty Stadium after they were left out of the club’s pre-season tour of North America.

Barca chance has come a little late – Mathieu

The defender was unveiled at Camp Nou on Thursday and revealed that Luis Enrique has had the move in mind for several weeks


Jeremy Mathieu revealed that he feels his move to Barcelona is a “reward” for his whole career, although that it has come a few years later than he might have wished.

The 30-year-old has signed a four-year deal with the option of an additional season, with Valencia reluctantly agreeing to sell one of their prized assets for €20 million.

“Joining Barca is a reward for my whole career,” he told the media at his unveiling. “I worked very hard to get here. The chance comes maybe a bit late, but I’ll enjoy it.

“I did everything to join Barcelona, it’s a joy to be here. I’m very motivated, I’ve come here purely to win trophies.”

Mathieu spoke with excitement about the next phase of his career and revealed he had spoken to former Valencia team-mate Alba and new boss Luis Enrique even before the transfer was agreed.

“Jordi Alba insisted that I join,” he told reporters. “He said it’s a great club and that I would feel good here.

“I spoke to Luis Enrique a month ago – he wants me to play as a centre-back and showed that he really believes in me.

“I like Barcelona’s game because I like to play football. Just kicking the ball away is not really my thing.”

Mathieu will wear the No. 24 shirt at Camp Nou and battle it out for a place alongside Gerard Pique at the heart of the back four, though he can also be used on the left of the defence.

Alba told me to join – Mathieu

The centre-back was unveiled at Camp Nou on Thursday and said his new team-mate had advised him over the move several weeks ago


Jeremy Mathieu revealed how Jordi Alba had convinced him to join Barcelona prior to signing for the club after being presented to the media on Thursday.

The 30-year-old has signed a four-year deal with the option of an additional season, with Valencia reluctantly agreeing to sell one of their prized assets for €20 million.

Mathieu spoke with excitement about the next phase of his career and revealed he had spoken to Alba and new boss Luis Enrique even before the transfer was agreed.

“Jordi Alba insisted that I join,” he told reporters. “He said it’s a great club and that I would feel good here.

“I spoke to Luis Enrique a month ago – he wants me to play as a centre-back and showed that he really believes in me.

“I like Barcelona’s game because I like to play football. Just kicking the ball away is not really my thing.”

The Frenchman had earlier urged Valencia to grant his exit before the two teams came to an agreement and admitted he simply had to join Barca after hearing of their interest.

“I did everything to join Barcelona, it’s a joy to be here,” he added. “I’m very motivated, I’ve come here purely to win trophies.

“joining Barça is a reward for my whole career. I worked very hard to get here. The chance comes maybe a bit late, but I’ll enjoy it.”

Mathieu will wear the No. 24 shirt at Camp Nou and battle it out for a place alongside Gerard Pique at the heart of the back four. 

Besic joins Everton squad on Thailand trip ahead of transfer

A deal with the midfielder’s club Ferencvaros has yet to be formally announced but the 21-year-old has travelled to Thailand with Roberto Martinez’s side


Muhamed Besic has joined up with Everton’s squad for their pre-season trip to Thailand.

The 21-year-old, who featured for Bosnia-Herzegovina at the World Cup this summer, has not yet been officially unveiled as an Everton player, with a €5 million transfer from Ferencvaros still to be announced.

Roberto Martinez’s side face Leicester City in Bangkok on Sunday and while Besic will not take part in the match, the midfielder will be with his new team-mates in order to work on his fitness.

“The next few days will allow Mo to meet the players, but more importantly it is an opportunity for him to get into optimum condition ahead of the new season,” Martinez told the club’s official website.
 
“I am looking forward to introducing him to the Everton fans when we come back but first I would like to thank Ferencvaros for the way in which they have approached the negotiations.

“They have been very understanding at this point and we have enjoyed a good working relationship.”

Ross Barkley is also part of Everton’s pre-season squad after returning from holiday following his World Cup campaign with England.