Celtic sign Pukki from Schalke

The 23-year-old Finland international puts pen to paper on a four-year contract, becoming Neil Lennon’s sixth signing this summer for the reigning Scottish champions

Celtic have completed the signing of Teemu Pukki from Schalke.

The 23-year-old forward, who scored three goals in 17 Bundesliga appearances last season, has signed a four-year deal with the Scottish champions for a fee around €3.5 million.

The Finland international is Celtic’s second completed transfer within the space of 24 hours following the arrival of Israel midfielder Nir Biton from Ashdod on Friday.

Despite featuring in the Champions League play-offs for Schalke, Pukki is eligible to play for Celtic in the group stages.

Pukki started his career at FC KooTeePee before moving to Sevilla in 2008. The forward returned to Finland in 2010 with HJK Helsinki and was signed by Schalke just over a year later.

Liverpool agree €17m deal for Sakho

Paris Saint-Germain accept the Premier League side’s offer, with the Reds also closing in on Sporting Lisbon defender Tiago Ilori as they look to bolster their defensive options

By Wayne Veysey

Liverpool have reached an agreement with Paris Saint-Germain to sign centre-back Mamadou Sakho.

The Reds will pay the Ligue 1 champions a €17 million fee for the 23-year-old defender as Brendan Rodgers looks to improve his defensive options for the 2013-14 campaign.

Sakho has played over 150 league games for PSG, with the Frenchman having been capped 14 times by his country, and he will compete with Daniel Agger and Kolo Toure for a place in Rodgers’s starting XI.

Liverpool are also close to agreeing a deal for Sporting Lisbon youngster Tiago Ilori, with the Reds having tabled a €7m offer plus performance related bonuses to sign the 20-year-old.

Rodgers has felt the need to dip into the market for defensive reinforcements with the future of Martin Skrtel remaining up in the air, with Napoli strongly linked with a move for the Slovakia international.

The Anfield manager’s options have been further limited with Sebastian Coates sidelined with a long-term knee injury, while Andre Wisdom’s patchy pre-season performances have done little to convince Rodgers that he is ready for a regular first-team berth.

There is better news regarding Kolo Toure’s fitness, however, with Rodgers revealing on Friday that the Ivorian could recover from a groin problem in time to face Manchester United on Sunday.

Tottenham renew Coentrao

The north London club are ready to continue their impressive £100 million-plus transfer spree as they prepare for Gareth Bale’s imminent £86m departure to Real Madrid

By Greg Stobart

Tottenham intend to continue their summer spending splurge and hope to complete a deal for €17.5m-rated Real Madrid left-back Fabio Coentrao before the transfer window closes on Monday.

The north London club are also exploring further attacking options, although they have cooled their interest in Zenit forward Hulk as a result the club’s fee demands.

Spurs announced the arrival of three new signings on Friday as Christian Eriksen joined from Ajax for £11.5m to join £26m winger Erik Lamela from Roma and Vlad Chiriches, the Romanian centre-back who cost £8.5m from Steaua Bucharest.

They join fellow summer signings Roberto Soldado, Paulinho, Nacer Chadli and Etienne Capoue in a summer revolution at White Hart Lane that has seen the club spend around £100m on new players.

Andre Villas-Boas, the Tottenham manager, is determined to emerge from the transfer window with a squad ready to finish in the top four despite the imminent departure of star man Gareth Bale to Real Madrid for a world-record £86m fee.

Many of the discussions between the two clubs over Bale this summer have focussed on the inclusion of players as makeweights in the transfer but both teams have now settled on a straight cash deal.

Spurs, however, have not dropped their interest in Coentrao, with the Portugal international hoping to leave the Santiago Bernabeu before the window closes.

The 25-year-old has not featured in either of Madrid’s league matches so far this season and is keen to link up with compatriot Villas-Boas at White Hart Lane.

Tottenham can offer Coentrao a regular starting spot in a World Cup year but have so far been unable to agree either a transfer fee or personal terms to land the former Benfica man.

The Londoners hope they can push through a deal in the final days of the transfer window, while they are also looking at attacking options including Real Betis winger Alvaro Vadillo.

Spurs’ business in the remainder of the transfer window is likely to be dependent on outgoings, with a number of players set to leave north London.

Villas-Boas hopes to sell both Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Emmanuel Adebayor before Monday night’s deadline while the club will listen to offers for England striker Jermain Defoe if they can sign a replacement.

Players are also expected on loan, including highly rated midfielder Tom Carroll, who is a target for newly promoted Crystal Palace.

Juventus forced to sell Matri, says Conte

The striker left the Bianconeri for pastures new on Thursday and the Italian revealed he had little option but to sanction his exit in a bid to balance the books

Antonio Conte has revealed Juventus were forced to sell Alessandro Matri to AC Milan for financial reasons after he moved to the Rossoneri in an €11 million deal.

The Bianconeri have enjoyed a productive summer transfer window, with Fernando Llorente, Carlos Tevez and Angelo Ogbonna all arriving at the club, but those deals have left a sizeable dent in the Old Lady’s balance sheet.

In a bid to balance the books, Conte sanctioned Matri’s exit on Thursday, having already sold Emmanuele Giaccherini to Sunderland, but admitted he did so with a heavy heart.

The 44-year-old told reporters: “Matri’s departure was a painful decision for us but the current economic conditions in Italian football mean we’re forced to sell.

“The sales of Matri and Giaccherini were painful decisions to make. I hear everyone say that the gap over the chasing pack has increased, when in reality we’ve been forced to lose an Italian international and a player who scored the most goals over the past two years and was also an important figure in the dressing room.

“This should represent a clear sign that the current economic conditions in Italian football also apply to Juventus. Aside from certain exceptions such as Napoli, clubs need to sell if they want to buy and we needed to recoup the €20 million spent on Tevez, Llorente and Ogbonna.”

Juve face Lazio on Saturday just a matter of weeks after dismantling the Biancocelesti 4-0 in the Italian Super Cup, but Conte is expecting a completely different encounter this time around.

“Tomorrow will be a different game entirely. A trophy was handed out in Rome and we’re happy to have won it, but the final score doesn’t reflect the difference between the sides.”

Tottenham confirm Eriksen signing

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