Stoke seal deal for Dutch star Ibrahim Afellay

Stoke have announced the signing of former Barcelona winger Ibrahim Afellay.

Stoke seal deal for Dutch star Ibrahim Afellay

The 29-year-old has signed a two-year contract with the Premier League club and will link up with his new team-mates in France.

The club said on their Twitter feed: “#SCFC are delighted to announce the signing of Dutch international winger Ibrahim Afellay.” Afellay arrives at the Britannia Stadium after his contract with Barcelona expired over the course of the summer.

Capped 50 times by the Netherlands, he joins fellow countrymen Erik Pieters and Marco van Ginkel in the Stoke squad, along with former Barcelona team-mates Bojan Krkic, Marc Muniesa and Moha El Ouriachi.

Potters chief executive Tony Scholes told his club’s official website: “It’s no secret that Ibrahim was wanted by a number of clubs and we are understandably delighted that he has chosen to join us.

“He’s clearly excited about the prospect of playing in the Premier League and the fact that he knows so many players who are already at the club will no doubt help him settle into his new surroundings.”

Striker Jordan Ayew insisted it took him just 10 seconds to decide to move to Aston Villa. The forward has signed from Lorient on a five-year deal for an undisclosed fee as Villa look to fill the gap left by Christian Benteke.

Ayew passed a medical on Monday to become Villa’s sixth summer signing and said making the switch was easy after meeting boss Tim Sherwood.

“When I spoke to the coach, I knew this was the place for me,” he told avfc.co.uk. “I didn’t think twice. I knew he was the right coach for me.

“He has so much enthusiasm and determination for the game of football.

“It took 10 seconds to work out he was the right coach for me and Aston Villa was the right team for me.

“I am the happiest man in the world. It’s one of my greatest days in football. My dream was to play for a big team in England and Aston Villa is undoubtedly one of the greats in English football.”

Ayew scored 13 goals in 33 games for Ligue 1 side Lorient last season.

Elsewhere, former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has made the switch to Major League Soccer by signing for Montreal Impact.

The 37-year-old Ivorian was a free agent following the end of his second spell with the Blues, for whom he scored 164 goals across nine seasons at Stamford Bridge.

Meanwhile, Schalke sporting director Horst Heldt says he has rejected a bid from Juventus for winger Julian Draxler and added that he does not want to hear from the Italian club again on the matter.

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