PARIS (AP) — French champion Paris Saint-Germain finally confirmed the signing of Randal Kolo Muani from Eintracht Frankfurt at the end of Friday's final day of the transfer window.
PSG confirmed it 30 minutes after the window shut at midnight, in a deal reportedly worth 90 million euros ($97 million).
“It’s great to be back where it all began. I was attracted by the club’s project,” said Kolo Muani, who grew up in the Paris suburbs. “Now I can’t wait to get to work and finally play in these colors.”
PSG and Eintracht reportedly agreed terms much earlier in the day, but the deal was frozen because PSG forward Hugo Ekitiké rejected three offers to join Eintracht as part of the deal.
Acquiring Kolo Muani is a big boost for new coach Luis Enrique, after losing Argentina's World Cup winner Lionel Messi to Inter Miami and Brazil forward Neymar to Al Hilal in the cash-rich Saudi Pro League.
Those two departures and a raft of players sent out on loan, including left back Juan Bernat to Portuguese side Benfica, did at least ease PSG's enormous wage bill.
Kolo Muani, who grew up in the same Bondy suburb as Mbappé, refused to train for Eintracht on Wednesday as he pushed for a transfer. He scored 23 goals in 46 matches last season and started this campaign with three goals in four games.
PSG has made a quiet start to the season with five points from three games and only four goals scored. Three of those have been by Mbappé, underlining the team's over-reliance on him.
Unbeaten Marseille, which is top of the league after four games under new coach Marcelino, strengthened well to offset the blow of losing striker Alexis Sanchez and the departure of fan favorite Dimitri Payet.
Marseille drafted prolific striker Pierre-Emerick Aubemeyang, Argentina forward Joaquin Correa, goal-scoring winger Ismaila Sarr, attacking midfielder Iliman Ndiaye and vastly experienced midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia.
Defensive midfielder Denis Zakaria and central defender Mohamed Salisu also joined, while the books were well balanced by the sale of France defender Axel Disasi to big spender Chelsea for 45 million euros ($49 million).
Lens, which finished second last year to qualify for the Champions League and collect a windfall, somehow beat Chelsea to the signing of 20-year-old striker Elye Wahi from Montpellier for a club record €35 million euros ($38 million).
Veteran goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel ended his contract with Nice by mutual consent after one season at the southern club
Perhaps the most unexpected transfer saw former England striker Andy Carroll join second-tier Amiens on a two-year deal on Friday.
The imposing 34-year-old Carroll played last season in England's second tier for Reading, scoring a modest nine goals. During his heyday, he joined Liverpool for 35 million pounds ($44 million) in 2011, the year he netted the first of his two goals for England.
Carroll also played for West Ham and Newcastle in the Premier League.
AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer
Jerome Pugmire, The Associated Press