Burnley and Watford exclusive: Striker agrees £100,000-a-week deal

Former Watford star Andre Gray has signed a one-year deal with Al Riyad worth £100,000-a-week, sources have told Football Insider.

The Saudi Pro League side announced they had reached a last-minute deal for the 32-year-old before the Saudi window closed on Thursday (September 7).

Gray reportedly turned down interest from a number of clubs, including other Saudi clubs and those in the United Arab Emirates, before signing a £2.5million after-tax deal with Al Riyadh.

He was a free agent after terminating his contract with Aris FC by mutual consent last week.

Gray, 32, was the Greek team’s top scorer last season but has now left following their elimination in the Europa Conference qualifiers.

Gray has spent much of his career in England, playing in the Premier League for both Burnley and Watford between 2015 and 2022.

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He helped the Clarets reach promotion in 2015/16 and spent a season with Lancashire in the Premier League before signing for Watford in 2017 for a record fee of £18.5m.

Gray spent five years at Vicarage Road, scoring 21 times in 125 appearances in all competitions.

Falling out of favor with the Hornets during the final years of his five-year contract, Gray spent the 2021/22 season on loan at Championship side QPR before leaving on a free transfer for Aris FC in Greece.

Gray is now on the verge of becoming the latest player to join the Saudi Pro League, following this summer’s campaign to strengthen the league’s competition with a huge investment in new signings.

Sources: Wolves Harrison Reed’s latest bid has failed after talks with Fulham

Chelsea face £31m transfer failure after ‘secret’ Manchester City offer rejected

Chelsea had hoped to loan or sell Marc Cucurella during the summer transfer window, but the Spanish defender remained at Stamford Bridge ahead of the January transfer window.

Chelsea face £31m transfer failure after Manchester City’s ‘secret’ offer rejected. 

Chelsea face losing £31million talent Ian Maatsen to Manchester City after turning down the reigning Premier League champions’ offer to sign Marc Cucurella in January.

The Blues agreed an initial loan move for Maatsen to Burnley at the end of the summer transfer window, followed by a permanent £31.5 million move next summer.

However, the Dutch defender turned down the opportunity to return to Turf Moor and play under Vincent Kompany.

It comes after Chelsea shot themselves in the leg over a loan deal for Cucurella’s move to Manchester United – after Mauricio Pochettino used the Spaniard in their 2-1 second round win in the Carabao Cup against AFC Wimbledon.

United did not appreciate the Blues’ decision to start Cucurella in the Carabao Cup and instead turned their attention to securing a loan deal to sign Sergio Reguilon from Tottenham.

It has since been revealed that Cucurella rejected moves to Atletico Madrid, RB Leipzig, Real Sociedad and Sevilla.

Fabrizio Romano also revealed that City had a ‘secret’ approach to signing the 25-year-old on loan with an option to buy, which was rejected by Chelsea in January.

Cucurella now continues to battle for his place in Pochettino’s team, with Ben Chilwell clearly the starting left-back.

Maatsen has been preferred as Cucurella’s replacement so far this season, but the Dutchman could leave Stamford Bridge next summer if he no longer starts.

Maatsen has one year left on his contract next summer, with City now considering a transfer for the 21-year-old talent, according to 90min.

The report claims that talks between the young defender and Chelsea over a new contract will continue “over the coming weeks” and “sources close to the situation” believe that Stamford Bridge officials are “hopeful”that a deal could be “soon”. reached up.

Left-back has been a problematic position for Pep Guardiola since he arrived at the Etihad Stadium in the summer of 2016. Rico Lewis, Manuel Akanji and Nathan Ake have filled the role in the absence of Joao Cancelo, who joined Barcelona on loan.

Pochettino is known to be a fan of Maatsen, having captained the left-back in four matches so far this season, while left-back Marc Cucurella has so far been limited to just one appearance in the Carabao Cup.

Chelsea would ultimately have to sell Maatsen for less than the £31.5m offered by Burnley earlier this summer – if a contract extension can’t be agreed – and be stuck with Cucurella as Chilwell’s backup.


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