The world of football witnessed a flurry of activity on the last day of the Saudi transfer market Al-Ettifaq secured a significant signing in the form of Everton's star player, Meanwhile, over in Spain, Real Madrid is taking a cautious approach to their star player's return to the field after an injury, On a different note, Barcelona's president, Laporta, made a bold move by extending Xavi's leadership role within the club until 2026, emphasizing his pivotal role in the team's future.
The Last Day of the Saudi Transfer Market | Al-Ettifaq Secures the Signing of Everton Star
Al-Ettifaq Football Club has officially sealed the deal to acquire the Jamaican international, Demarai Gray, the English Premier League star, during the ongoing summer transfer window.
Unlike major European leagues that closed their transfer windows earlier this month, the Saudi Arabian League's transfer window concludes today, on September 7th.
Gray, who plays as a left-winger, has signed a four-year contract with Al-Ettifaq, managed by Steven Gerrard, to bolster the team's attacking prowess for the upcoming season.
The 27-year-old player has represented his country in five international matches, scoring two goals, after previously featuring for the England youth teams.
Gray has been with Everton since July 2021 when he joined the club from Bayer Leverkusen.
This marks Gray as Al-Ettifaq's fifth signing during this transfer window, following the acquisitions of Jordan Henderson, Moussa Dembele, as well as the duo Georginio Wijnaldum and Jack Hendry.
Real Madrid Cautious in the Return of Star Player to the Field
Real Madrid is meticulously planning the return of their Brazilian star, Vinicius Junior, and his comeback from injury is set for October at the Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium, where they will face Sevilla.
According to AS, the Madrid-based newspaper, Real Madrid is not rushing to bring back the Brazilian sensation, as their match against Sevilla is scheduled for October 21st or 22nd.
Currently, Real Madrid is operating without Vinicius Junior, having secured victories against Celta Vigo at Balaidos and Getafe at the Santiago Bernabeu, thanks to goals from Jovic and Bale, all without the Brazilian player.
Vinicius' injury, which will keep him out for five weeks, has created tension within the team due to concerns about how to perform without him.
Initially diagnosed with a tear in the thigh's vertical muscle, Vinicius might return to action for the match against Osasuna on October 7th or 8th if his recovery process accelerates.
The club is not willing to take any risks with the player, understanding that an early return could lead to his inclusion in the Brazilian national team for the international break in October.
Vinicius is maintaining a normal routine despite his injury, as he was spotted attending the Getafe match at the Bernabeu and the Formula 1 race, His recovery plan is on track, but this does not imply a reduction in his absence duration, The main target remains his return in the match against Sevilla on October 21st or 22nd.
Laporta: Xavi, the Captain of Barcelona's Project Until 2026
Juan Laporta, the president of FC Barcelona, has reached a comprehensive agreement to extend the contract of coach Xavi Hernandez, the head coach of the first football team.
According to Spanish media reports, Laporta is convinced that Xavi is the man for the job and the leader of Barcelona's project in the foreseeable future, Xavi is expected to remain within the Catalan club's ranks until the summer of 2026.
Barcelona is currently looking for a suitable date to officially announce the contract extension with Xavi and capture the official photographs, All that's left is for Deco to return from his break to complete the renewal formalities.
There is great confidence in Xavi's capabilities, and he has strong support from the club's president, Laporta, Before his departure, Mateu Alemany laid the groundwork for the agreement, in which Deco was also involved.
FC Barcelona aims to retain the Spanish La Liga title, which they won in the previous season, alongside the Spanish Super Cup, and to be a fierce contender for the UEFA Champions League title, which they last claimed in 2015.