Transfer talk: Swansea swipe Andre Ayew from Marseille; Arsenal make cuts

Swansea City have signed Ghana winger Andre Ayew and Arsenal have parted ways with a pair of players in the latest transfer news.

Andre Ayew played at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil with Ghana. Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images
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Swansea City

Swansea City have signed Ghana international winger Andre Ayew from Marseille on a four-year contract, the Premier League club announced on Wednesday.

The 25-year-old arrives on a free transfer after his contract with Marseille expired and his deal is subject to Premier League and international clearance.

“I looked left and right and I thought Swansea was the best choice for me to grow as a player,” Ayew told Sky Sports. “Not only football-wise, but I heard about the squad, how the players live together and the team spirit.

“So I thought it was great to come to Swansea because I know how positive it is here.”

Read more: The National's Transfer Talk page

Ayew, who can also play in midfield, spent eight years at Marseille, scoring 52 goals in 181 games and contributing to Coupe de la Ligue (French League Cup) successes in 2011 and 2012.

He has won 62 caps for Ghana and represented his country at the last two World Cups, as well as four editions of the Africa Cup of Nations.

Ayew’s father, Abedi Pele, was a three-time African Footballer of the Year and he has two brothers, Ibrahim and Jordan, who also play top-level football in Ghana and France respectively.

Ayew, who will wear the No 10 shirt at the Liberty Stadium, was named BBC African Footballer of the Year and Ghana Player of the Year in 2011.

“I’ve spoken a lot to players from Ghana who have played in the Premier League,” Ayew added. “They heard I was going to come, but they didn’t know where.

“It’s a league I really like and they knew I was going to come to England, but I took my time to make a decision.

“When I spoke to them all, the Ghanaians love the Premiership and Asamoah Gyan, Michael Essien and Sulley Muntari all said the same thing.

“I think it’s the best league and I wanted to come and play against the best players.”


Abou Diaby’s injury-scarred nine-year stint at Arsenal is due to finish after he was included on a list of players to be released by the club on Wednesday.

Diaby, 29 and capped 16 times by France, had his ankle broken by Sunderland’s Dan Smith shortly after joining Arsenal from Auxerre in January 2006 and has been bedevilled by injury ever since.

The midfielder’s Arsenal tenure has been a succession of lengthy absences followed by aborted comebacks, with a cruciate knee ligament injury restricting him to just two appearances over the past two seasons.

While Diaby’s contract is due to expire on June 30, the Premier League stresses that its list of released players “should not be seen as definitive for players leaving their club”.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has repeatedly expressed his belief in Diaby, in whom he has shown great patience.

“Diaby is a player that I have an enormous amount of respect for,” Wenger said last November.

“Every time he comes back he has to start from zero with another injury. He is not a fragile player. He was the victim of an assassin’s tackle that went unpunished.”

Japan midfielder Ryo Miyaichi, who has had several spells on loan at other clubs since arriving in January 2011, was also named on Arsenal’s release list.


Robbie Keane will feature alongside former Liverpool teammate Steven Gerrard in the ongoing MLS season after agreeing a contract extension with LA Galaxy.

Keane joined the club in 2011 from Tottenham Hotspur and has scored 55 goals in 91 appearances while it was his extra-time winner that helped them win their third MLS Cup in the last four years in 2014.

The 34-year-old all-time record goalscorer for Ireland will link up with Gerrard, who joins the Galaxy next month after ending his long association with Liverpool.

“We’re very pleased Robbie will continue to be a member of the Galaxy in the coming years,” said Galaxy head coach and general manager Bruce Arena.

“He has been one of the key pieces in our success over the past five seasons. We look forward to even more success with Robbie as a member of our team.”

The length of the deal has not been announced “per club and MLS policy” said the Galaxy in a media release.

Keane has played a part in the club’s last three MLS Cup triumphs, either providing an assist or scoring a goal in each of the 2011, 2012 and 2014 finals.

He has played seven matches this season, scoring twice.

Newcastle United

Former England manager Steve McClaren has been appointed as the new head coach of Newcastle United on an initial three-year contract, the Premier League club announced on Wednesday.

McClaren, 54, succeeds John Carver, whose departure was confirmed earlier on Wednesday, and has a clause in his contract that could see it extended to eight years, the club said.

“I am privileged to be appointed head coach of Newcastle United. This is a big club with a wonderful heritage,” McClaren said in a statement on the Newcastle website.

“St James’ Park is like a cathedral on a Saturday afternoon, a symbol for the city, and I am excited to be given this opportunity.”

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