Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Arteta completes Gunners move

Mikel Arteta

Arsenal completed a sensational last-gasp swoop for Mikel Arteta as the transfer window slammed shut.

The Gunners looked to have missed out on Arteta earlier in the evening after Everton rejected a bid for their star midfielder. But Arteta reportedly forced the issue and Arsenal looked to have reached an agreement with their Barclays Premier League rivals before the 11pm deadline, revealing they had signed the 29-year-old on a four-year contract.

The Spaniard joined Yossi Benayoun, Per Mertesacker and Andre Santos in moving to the Emirates as Arsene Wenger splashed out on transfer deadline day.

The Gunners are said to have initially offered Nicklas Bendtner - who joined Sunderland on a season-long loan - in a part-exchange deal, something rejected out of hand by Everton. They also reportedly snubbed a £10million cash offer until the player himself made his feelings clear.

Arteta's signing followed hot on the heels of that of Benayoun after the Chelsea midfielder signed a season-long loan deal at the Emirates Stadium.

That took Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger's deadline-day recruits to four after defenders Mertesacker and Santos Put the finishing touches to their moves.

The signings will help appease fans following one of the club's worst starts to a season in recent memory, which culminated in Sunday's 8-2 humiliation at Manchester United.

Arteta and Benayoun are arguably like-for-like replacements in terms of style to the departed Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri.

Israel captain Benayoun tweeted on Wednesday before resuming international duty: "I sign with Arsenal, very happy and excited about it, but now my head is only in the game against Greece on Friday, thanks for the support."

Wenger was busy in the final days of the transfer window, having brought in South Korea captain Park Chu-young from Monaco.

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