Philipp Wollscheid joins Metz from Stoke

Philipp Wollscheid has left Stoke to join Ligue 1 side Metz on a three-year deal, the French club have announced.

The 28-year-old joined Stoke from Mainz in January 2015, initially on loan but doing enough to earn a permanent move to the Potteries that summer.

He made a total of 56 appearances for the club but has fallen down the pecking order, spending part of last season on loan at Wolfsburg.

The Potters’ recruitment this summer of Kevin Wimmer, Bruno Martins Indi and Kurt Zouma confirmed his time at Stoke was over.

No fee has been announced for his move to Metz but the French club announced he had agreed a contract until 2020.

“A reinforcement of substance for Les Grenats who will bring his experience of the highest level, he is known for positioning and his strength,” the club said in a statement.

“The neo-Messin also has the advantage of perfectly mastering the language of Moliere which should aid his integration.”

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Stoke City sign Tottenham defender Kevin Wimmer on a five-year deal

Stoke have completed the signing of defender Kevin Wimmer from Premier League rivals Tottenham for £18million.

The 24-year-old Austria international has agreed a five-year deal with Mark Hughes’ Potters. Manager Hughes told the club’s official website:

“Kevin is an undoubted talent and he will significantly add to the quality of the group of players that I already have at my disposal.

“We put a real emphasis on trying to enhance the defensive areas of the squad this summer and we feel that we have been able to do that.”

Wimmer becomes Stoke’s seventh signing of the summer transfer window. He strengthens their defensive options further following the earlier arrivals of Chelsea loanee Kurt Zouma and Porto centre-back Bruno Martins Indi.

Wimmer said the opportunity to work with Hughes was a big factor in his decision to join the club.

“I had some really good conversations with the manager and they were important for me,” he said.

“He is a very good manager and I like the way he approaches the game. His style of play suits the way I like to play too – he likes his defenders to be able to play out with the ball.

“I am just so happy to be at Stoke now because I really wanted to come here, to a club with such big tradition, so I feel really good and am very excited about meeting up with everybody and getting ready for the matches ahead.”

Wimmer, who has won eight caps for his country, began his career in his homeland with LASK Linz before moving to Cologne in 2012.

He helped the German side win promotion to the Bundesliga in 2014 and left for White Hart Lane the following year.

The centre-back made 31 appearances during his two seasons under Mauricio Pochettino at Spurs, including 15 league outings.

His final Tottenham game came in a 4-0 victory over his new club in February. Stoke chief executive Tony Scholes said:

“He has been in huge demand this summer having shown his qualities in the Premier League during his two years with Tottenham Hotspur, so we are delighted that he has chosen to continue his career here at the bet365 Stadium.”

Wimmer could make his Potters debut in the home game with Manchester United on September 9.

Newcastle sign Joselu from Stoke City

Newcastle have completed the signing of Stoke striker Joselu.

The 27-year-old Spaniard has signed a three-year deal to seal a move for an undisclosed fee, believed to be in the region of £5million, the Magpies have confirmed.

Joselu said:

“I feel very happy because I have signed for a very big club. I’m very happy to be part of this club, and so excited.

I’m looking forward to getting to know my team-mates, the city, the training ground, the stadium and all the supporters.”

Joselu headed for Tyneside on Monday to discuss personal terms and undergo a medical as a protracted pursuit drew to a close, and he has now become compatriot Benitez’s sixth summer signing.

He arrives at St James Park perhaps with something to prove after managing just four goals in 27 appearances in his first season in the Potteries following a £5.75million switch from Hannover during the summer of 2015.

The frontman was sent out on loan to Deportivo La Coruna last season and found the back of the net on six occasions while playing slightly fewer games.

Benitez will hope he improves significantly on his return while on Tyneside, with Dwight Gayle and Aleksandar Mitrovic his only out-and-out strikers.

He has made recruitment on that front a priority since securing promotion back to the Premier League, but missed out on a loan deal for Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham and has so far been thwarted with other targets – among them Arsenal’s Lucas Perez – because of inflated asking prices and wages.

Benitez said:

“We have known Joselu since his days at the Real Madrid academy, and we know that he has the potential to do well for us. “Obviously he has experience of English football and the Premier League and that was another thing we took into consideration. We think if we can exploit his full potential he will be a good signing for us. “He knows and accepts the challenge we’ve given him at Newcastle United and he’s keen to come and fight for a position in the team.”

The Newcastle boss and club owner Mike Ashley have each had their say on transfers in recent days to leave fans fearing a schism has developed, although with more than two weeks of the transfer window remaining, there is still room for manoeuvre.

Joselu, who began his career with Celta Vigo and has also played for Real Madrid, Hoffenheim and Eintracht Frankfurt, joins Christian Atsu, Florian Lejeune, Jacob Murphy, Javier Manquillo and Mikel Merino in moving to St James’ Park this summer.

Newcastle face Huddersfield, with whom they emerged from the Sky Bet Championship last season, on Sunday.

Stoke City sign Jese Rodriguez on loan from PSG

Stoke City have signed Jese Rodriguez on a season-long loan from Paris Saint-Germain.

The 24-year-old joined Real at the age of 14 and was part of their Champions League-winning squads in 2014 and 2016.

He joined PSG last Augustfor £21m on a five-year deal, but scored just twice in 14 appearances before he was loaned to Spanish club Las Palmas in January for the rest of the season.

“His pedigree speaks for itself,” said Stoke chief executive Tony Scholes.

“He hasn’t had the happiest of periods in his career in Paris but he’s still only a young man and is hungry to make a big impression in the Premier League.

“He will most certainly add to the firepower at our disposal.”

And with Jese now heading to the Potteries, it means Stoke have five Champions League winners in their squad, more than any other English club.

Darren Fletcher (Manchester United), Bojan and Ibrahim Afellay (Barcelona) and Xherdan Shaqiri (Bayern Munich) have also won Europe’s top club honour.

Jese is Stoke’s sixth signingof the transfer window.

Defender Bruno Martins Indi joined on Friday, while the Potters have also signed defender Kurt Zouma on loan from Chelsea, while midfielder Darren Fletcher, defender Josh Tymon and winger Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting all joined on free transfers.

Stoke latest signing is former Schalke midfielder Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting

Stoke have signed Cameroon international Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, the Premier League club have announced.

The winger, 28, pens a three-year contract at the bet365 Stadium, and joins on a free transfer following his release from Bundesliga outfit Schalke earlier in the summer.

Choupo-Moting’s arrival at the Potters ends a lengthy pursuit, according to chief executive Tony Scholes.

He said on theclub’s official website:

“Eric has been on our radar for several years and we actually tried to bring him to the club four years ago.

“The competition to sign him this summer was particularly intense with clubs across Europe wanting him.

“We are understandably thrilled to have secured his signature and Eric is excited about the prospect of playing in the Premier League.”

Choupo-Moting, who has won 48 caps for Cameroon, becomes the fourth summer signing made by boss Mark Hughes, following Darren Fletcher, Kurt Zouma and Josh Tymon through the door.

He will join up with his new team-mates on Tuesday and hope to force his way into Hughes’ side for the opening game of the Premier League season at Everton on Saturday.

West Ham  sign  Marko Arnautovic from Stoke City  for club-record fee

West Ham have completed the signing of Marko Arnautovic for a club record fee from Premier League rivals Stoke.

The 28-year-old Austria international has agreed a five-year deal with the Hammers, for a fee thought to be slightly more than the £20.5million they paid Swansea for Andre Ayew last year, which could rise to £25m.
The 28-year-old joined Stoke from Werder Bremen four years ago and was just 12 months into a four-year contract with the Potters.

The forward, who joins Joe Hart and Pablo Zabaleta in signing for Slaven Bilic’s side this summer, told  www.whufc.com: “It feels special to me to be a West Ham player. Everyone knows that West Ham is a big club, with big history and I’m happy to be a part of it now. I can’t wait to get started.”

He scored seven times in 35 games in all competitions last season.

Aston Villa sign Glenn Whelan from Stoke for £2million


Aston Villa have signed Stoke midfielder Glenn Whelan in a deal which could rise to £2million. The 33-year-old has put pen to paper on a two-year contract at Villa Park, bringing to an end his nine-year association with the Premier League side.

“I have enjoyed happy times at Stoke City but now is the time for a new football adventure – and what a club to join in Aston Villa,” Whelan told Villa’s official club website.

“We may be in the Championship but everything about this club screams Premier League – and it’s the job of the players to get us back up there.

“I am looking forward to working with Steve Bruce. I know he has a phenomenal record in achieving promotion to the top flight and, having spoken to him at length, I am more than aware of how much he wants to get back there again with this great club.”

Villa have paid Stoke an initial £1.25million but the fee could rise to £2million with certain add-ons and clauses.

Whelan made more than 330 appearances for Stoke after joining the club from Sheffield Wednesday for £500,000 in January 2008.

He helped the Potters clinch promotion to the Premier League during the 2008/09 season and was a mainstay in the team as Stoke went on to establish themselves in the top flight.

The Republic of Ireland international becomes the fourth new arrival at Villa this summer after the signings of Ahmed Elmohamady, John Terry and Sam Johnstone.

EPL results: Final day – Champions Chelsea  cruise on Terry’s farewell match; Arsenal win but miss out of Champions League; Kane nets a hat trick- wins Golden boot

​Arsenal 3 – 1 Everton

Burnley 1 – 2 West Ham  United

Chelsea 5 – 1 Sunderland

Hull City 1 – 7 Tottenham  Hotspur

Leicester City 1 – 1 AFC Bournemouth

Liverpool 3 – 0 Middlesbrough

Manchester United 2 – 0 Crystal Palace

Southampton 0 – 1 Stoke City

Swansea City 2 – 1 West Bromwich Albion

Watford 0 – 5 Manchester  City

  • Chelsea 5 – 1 Sunderland

Premier League champions Chelsea beat Sunderland 5-1 to break the Premier League record for wins in a season, as captain John Terry waved goodbye to Stamford Bridge.

With their 30th Premier League victory of the season, Chelsea have broken the competition record set by Jose Mourinho’s title-winning Blues teams in the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons, who both won 29 of their 38 league matches.

The win also means Conte’s men finish the season with 93 points, a tally beaten only by Chelsea’s first Premier League title-winning side in 2004-05.

Blues legend, Terry, who has spent 22 years at the club but will leave this summer, played 26 minutes after starting his second match in a row and was replaced to a standing ovation and a guard of honour from his team-mates.

Willian’s equaliser  had already cancelled out Javier Manquillo’s third-minute strike by that point, and Eden Hazard and Pedro scored after the break to put the hosts in control.

Substitute Michy Batshuayi grabbed a late double to seal a record-breaking 30th Premier League victory this season.

It was the perfect prelude to the lifting of the trophy after the match and for Chelsea’s FA Cup final against Arsenal on Saturday.

  • Hull City 1 – 7 Tottenham  Hotspur

Harry Kane finished as the Premier League’s top scorer for the second successive season after scoring a hat-trick as Tottenham thrashed Hull 7-1 on the final day.

The striker, who netted four in a 6-1 win at Leicester on Thursday, followed up with two goals inside the opening 15 minutes at the KCOM Stadium.

Dele Alli made it 3-0 before half-time and, after Sam Clucas pulled a goal back in the 66th minute, Spurs finished with a flourish.

Victor Wanyama headed in before Kane completed his hat-trick and Ben Davies and Toby Alderweireld scored their first Premier League goals of the season.

Kane wins the Golden Boot award with 29 goals, four more than nearest rival Romelu Lukaku.

And the rout concludes another impressive campaign for Spurs, who finish second behind Chelsea on 86 points with just four defeats and a club-record 26 goals conceded.

Hull, meanwhile, drop to the Championship with uncertainty over the future of Marco Silva, who was serenaded by fans throughout the match in a bid to keep him at the club, with  talks planned next week.

  • Watford 0 – 5 Manchester  City

Manchester City sealed their place in next season’s Champions League by crushing Watford to finish third in Pep Guardiola’s debut season.

City skipper Vincent Kompany was left unmarked to head in an early opener before Sergio Aguero twice clinically fired in after quick counters-attacks.

The Blues, needing a point to guarantee a finish in the top four, were 4-0 up at half-time after Fernandinho bundled in.

Gabriel Jesus clipped in a fifth after the break as Watford ended the reign of departing manager Walter Mazzarri with a shocking display.

Mazzarri, who leaves after just one season, was booed by some Hornets fans during the game as the hosts suffered a sixth successive defeat to finish in 17th place.

  • Liverpool 3 – 0 Middlesbrough

Liverpool secured their Champions League return as their initial nerves turned to jubilation and relegated Middlesbrough crumbled at Anfield.

With top-four rivals Arsenal ahead at Everton, Liverpool were impotent in attack and twitchy at the back for most of the first half.

But Georginio Wijnaldum eased the tension in injury time, bursting into the box and smashing in a fierce shot at the near post.

Philippe Coutinho’s low curling free-kick six minutes into the second half was quickly followed by Adam Lallana slotting in to give the Reds a comfortable cushion to ride out to full-time.

With Manchester City thrashing Watford, Liverpool finished fourth in the final Premier League table and will have to negotiate Champions League qualifying at the start of next season.

  • ​Arsenal 3 – 1 Everton

Arsenal missed out on a place in the Champions League for the first time in 20 years despite beating Everton on the final day of the season.

Arsene Wenger’s side got the win they required despite having defender Laurent Koscielny sent off for a reckless first-half challenge on Everton’s Enner Valencia. He will now serve a suspension that will keep him out of the FA Cup final against Chelsea at Wembley.

Arsenal took the lead early on through Hector Bellerin’s far-post finish and Alexis Sanchez scrambled in a second after Koscielny’s dismissal to put the Gunners in control.

It was to no avail as Liverpool completed their task by beating Middlesbrough to finish fourth.

The Gunners did end the league campaign with a flourish though thanks to Aaron Ramsey’s brilliant injury-time strike from 20 yards after Romelu Lukaku pulled a goal back for Everton from the penalty spot.

The hosts, who also had defender Gabriel taken off injured on a stretcher, now turn their attention to Wembley, after which an announcement on manager Wenger’s future will be made.

  • Manchester United 2 – 0 Crystal Palace

Josh Harrop scored on his debut as Manchester United’s disappointing Premier League campaign ended with a comfortable victory over Crystal Palace.

Harrop was one of four players given their first top-flight starts as manager Jose Mourinho named the youngest United line-up in Premier League history, with an average age of 22 years and 284 days.

The 21-year-old midfielder was brimming with confidence and lashed in a superb finish from inside the box in the first half, and could have had a second, but curled an effort narrowly wide.

Paul Pogba doubled the advantage with a low strike before being replaced by Michael Carrick with Wednesday’s Europa League final against Ajax in mind.

With two minutes remaining the London-born and Salford-raised Angel Gomes replaced captain Wayne Rooney to become the club’s youngest ever Premier League player at 16 years and 263 days old.

He is also the first player born in the 21st century to appear in the Premier League.

Palace’s best chance went to Christian Benteke in the second half, but the striker’s towering header struck the foot of the post.

Victory means United collect £28.5m in competition prize money for a sixth place finish – their second successive season outside the top four – while Palace end the season in 14th, earning them £13.3m.

  • Southampton 0 – 1 Stoke City

Southampton” miserable home form continued as Peter Crouch struck the only goal of the game to help Stoke to a first away win since January on the final day of the season.

The home side enjoyed the majority of possession but Nathan Redmond’s lob on to the bar on the stroke of half-time was their best moment until Crouch pounced.

The striker’s 10th goal of the season arrived when he headed home a Geoff Cameron cross and they deserved the lead after creating openings throughout.

Southampton rallied late on as Jack Butland produced fine saves to deny Steven Davis, James Ward-Prowse and Sofiane Boufal but Claude Puel’s side end the campaign without a win in five games at St Mary’s.

His side end the season eighth, with their lowest points tally since 2012-13, while Stoke finish 13th, their lowest finish since the same season.

  • Leicester City 1 – 1 AFC Bournemouth

Bournemouth secured their highest top-flight finish with a draw at Leicester on the final day of the 2016-17 Premier League season.

Junior Stanislas put the Cherries ahead after just 59 seconds, smashing in a rebound from Ryan Fraser’s shot at the end of Lys Mousset’s driving run.

Leicester started poorly but were transformed after the break and Jamie Vardy poked in Islam Slimani’s knockdown early in the second half.

Vardy had a goal incorrectly ruled out for offside nine minutes later as he stabbed in after Slimani’s blocked shot, while Slimani headed badly wide when found in space by a Riyad Mahrez free-kick with five minutes to play.

The Cherries – who finished 16th in their first Premier League campaign last year – end the season in ninth, while 2015-16 champions Leicester move down to 12th.

  • Swansea City 2 – 1 West Bromwich Albion

Swansea City fought back from a goal down to beat West Brom on the final day of the Premier League season.

Having secured survival a week earlier, the hosts were in relaxed mood at a relieved Liberty Stadium but fell behind in the first half as Jonny Evans nodded in from a corner.

Swansea improved after the interval and equalised as Jordan Ayew headed his first goal for the club, before Fernando Llorente volleyed the winning goal with five minutes left.

A fourth win in five games lifts the Swans up to 15th in the Premier League table while a ninth match without victory means West Brom finish the campaign in 10th place.

Whereas the Baggies’ second-half decline was symptomatic of their fading fortunes at the end of the season, Swansea’s late revival was representative of their inspired run-in.

  • Burnley 1 – 2 West Ham  United

West Ham ended their season with an away victory as they came from behind to beat Burnley at Turf Moor.

Burnley went ahead when Sam Vokes scored his 10th league goal of the season when he finished off Andre Gray’s low cross.

The hosts’ lead only lasted four minutes before Sofiane Feghouli netted to complete a fine move that also involved Edimilson Fernandes and Andre Ayew.

Ayew scored the winning goal with a close-range header after Tom Heaton had pushed Fernandes’ shot on to the crossbar.

The result means West Ham end the season in 11th place, missing out on a top-10 position on goal difference, while Burnley finish in 16th.

Preview: Arsenal Vs Stoke

Chelsea v Arsenal - FA Community Shield

Arsenal goes into the game against Stoke City hoping to extend a run of 7 consecutive Premier League victories against the visitors. All competitions considered, Stoke’s away record at the North London side has seen them been beaten in their last 13 attempts. They will have to reverse this trend without Nzonzi who has since joined Sevilla and Afellay who is suspended. Much of their creative play will therefore depend on Xherdan Shaqiri who is gradually adapting to the demands of the league.

Arsene Wenger has been criticised for not reinforcing a strike force that has failed to really fire. Their chance conversion rate stands at a woeful 5.6% with Olivier Giroud bearing much of the criticism. The Frenchman, whose hold up play which has become so important to the Gunners, will look to silence his critics and repay the faith his manager has shown in him by not making a new signing.

Stoke under Mark Hughes have been pleasing to watch. The Arsenal manager even described them as a more technical team. But such praise will count for nothing if their rotten record at Arsenal is not brought to a halt. They have the unenviable job of keeping the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Ozil and Cazorla quiet and getting past Petr Cech who has slowly recovered after his nightmare debut against West Ham.

Team News

Arsenal

The manager will have the opportunity to choose his first choice centre back pairing of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker, even though Gabriel has shown he can be a reliable deputy if needed. There are no new injury concerns for the Gunners. Jack Wilshere, Danny welbeck and Tomas Rosicky remained sidelined with injuries.

Stoke

Creative players Ibrahim Afellay and Charlie Adams are both suspended for 2 and 3 games respectively while there are fitness doubts over the availability of Glen Johnson, Mame Diouf and Marko Arnautovic. Nigerian Peter Odemwingie could also miss out as he still lacks match fitness. Ryan Shawcross is also ruled out with injury.

Norwich City vs Stoke City

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Sunderland may have been poor last week, but Norwich must be praised for seizing the opportunity and beating the black Cats with such ruthless efficiency. Goals from Russell Martin, Steve Whittaker and Nathan Redmond led to a 3-1 victory and gave the newly promoted side their first win of the season after they had suffered an opening day defeat to Crystal Palace. There will definitely be some temptation for Norwich manager Alex Neil to select the same starting line-up that beat Sunderland. After all, if it isn’t broken, why change things?

Stoke showed they must be taken seriously after earning a creditable draw at Spurs even though they were 2 goals down at some point in the game. Mark Hughes will hope his side can build on the momentum generated at White Hart Lane. However, their away records haven’t been particularly pleasing to the eye. They have picked up just 3 points from the last 18 points available away from home and have scored 4 goals in those games. The absence of Bojan and Peter Odemwingie would make it even more difficult for those records to be improved upon.

Alex Niel has enjoyed a fantastic start to life at Carrow Road. He has won 18 of the 27 games he has overseen for Norwich, and in that period oversaw the Canaries’ return to the big league. Many of those wins may have come in the Championship, there is no doubt that he is building a stubborn side that could cause problems for many teams on their day. If recent records between the two teams count for anything, Norwich City should feel confident going into this one. They have lost just once in 10 games against Stoke at Carrow Road, winning five of them and drawing four.

Team News

Norwich

Kyle Lafferty, Martin Olsson and Youssef Mulumbu are all unavailable due to injuries.

Stoke City

Xherdan Shaqiri could make his English football debut after serving his one match suspension carried over from the Coppa Italia. Marc Wilson could also make his first appearance of the new season while Bojan will probably not be fit enough to participate following his long-term injury. Ryan Shawcross and Peter Odemwingie are injured.

Preview: Tottenham Vs Stoke

Tottenham and Stoke go in search of their first league win of the season following opening day defeats against Man United and Liverpool respectively. Stoke have however been informed that their £12m signing Xerdan Shaqiri will not be allowed to make his league debut due to a suspension gotten in Italy while playing at Inter Milan.

Both sides will be harbouring hopes of qualifying for European football at the end of the season but will be aware that they need to get their season up and running if they are not to be playing catch up so early in the season.

Tottenham will be looking for better results this season against the visitors having lost both of their Premier League games against Stoke last season. They also had a player sent off in both games (Vlad Chiriches and Kyle Naughton).

Charlie Adam, who has turned out to be a crucial player for Stoke, has had mixed fortune in his previous games against Spurs. He has scored three times but has been sent off twice in seven Premier League games in these encounters.

Tottenham will be looking to Harry Kane to lead the way. The striker is in line for his 50th Premier League appearance in this match and has scored 24 goals in 49 PL games; and will look to join an elite group which contains 15 players who have scored 25 goals in their first 50 Premier League appearances.

Team News

Tottenham

Hugo Lloris is set to start for Tottenham after head coach Mauricio Pochettino reported a fully fit squad. Andros Townsend and Danny Rose are also back in contention, while Alex Pritchard marked his return from injury with two goals for the Under-21s against the Toffees. Aaron Lennon and Emmanuel Adebayor have not been given squad numbers and may be on their way out of the club. Roberto Soldado who flopped during his time in English football has completed a move back to Spain where he will join Villareal.

Stoke

New signing Xerdan Shaqiri misses out due to suspension. Arnautovic and Marc Wilson participation remains doubtful after the pair missed last Sunday’s home loss to Liverpool due to thigh and ankle problems respectively. Peter Odemwingie (hamstring) and Bojan Krkic are unlikely to take part as well due to injuries. Ryan Shawcross faces between two and three months on the sidelines following back surgery.