Kuala Lumpur: With the transfer window set to close soon, teams are bolstering their ranks with various national leagues kicking off over the coming days.
The-AFC.com highlights the ins and outs across the Continent.
See also :
Vermaelen signs for Vissel Kobe
AFC Champions League
Abderrazak Hamdallah extends Al Nassr stay
Taremi makes Portugal move
United Arab Emirates Pro League side Shabab Al Ahli FC have announced the signing of 2019 AFC Champions League hotshot Leonardo on a free transfer.
The 27-year-old currently sits at the top of this season’s AFC Champions League scoring charts with nine goals following his impressive performances for Emirati outfit Al Wahda FSCC who exited the competition at the Round of 16 stage.
Despite his stellar Continental displays, Leonardo left Al Wahda – who are based in Abu Dhabi – by mutual agreement last week.
“I received a lot of offers after leaving Al Wahda including offers from China and Saudi Arabia, but I preferred to join Shabab Al Ahli because of the desire my family had to live in Dubai,” said Leonardo who had been with Al Wahda for one season.
“Shabab Al Ahli are a big club and I hope that I can contribute to the success of the club,” he added.
Prior to stint with Al Wahda, the attacking midfielder had spells in Azerbaijan, Russia and Serbia before moving to Saudi Arabia in 2017 where he joined Jeddah giants Al Ahli Saudi FC.
Shabab Al Ahli finished as AFC Champions League runners-up in 2015 after being beaten 1-0 on aggregate by Chinese powerhouse Guangzhou Evergrande FC.
Promising Vietnamese left-back Doan Van Hau has been confirmed to join Dutch Eredivisie outfit SC Heerenveen, Hanoi FC revealed on Saturday.
Van Hau has been a regular starter in Hanoi’s run to the AFC Cup Inter-Zone Final but didn’t feature in either leg of their recent Inter-Zone Semi-final win over Turkmenistan’s Altyn Asyr FC.
The left-back has appeared 18 times for Vietnam since his first call-up in 2017. He was also part of the side which reached the AFC 23 Championship Final in 2018.
Indonesia’s Persija Jakarta have snapped up experienced Brazilian defender Xandão, who joins from Guarani on a free transfer.
The famed Gelora Bung Karno Stadium is the latest destination in a globetrotting career for the 31-year-old, who played for the likes of Sporting Clube de Portugal, São Paulo and Fluminense before spells in Russia, Spain and Belgium.
Xandão’s arrival comes as a welcome boost to a Persija side struggling in 15th place on the Liga 1 table after they won the title in 2018.
Colombian international Gustavo Cuéllar is the latest arrival at Saudi giants Al Hilal, joining for an undisclosed fee from Rio de Janeiro powerhouse Flamengo.
At the peak of his powers at 26 years old, defensive midfielder Cuéllar joins the current AFC Champions League quarter-finalists after more than 150 appearances in all competitions during his four-year spell in Brazil.
He has been capped seven times by Colombia, scoring his first international goal against Paraguay at the Copa America in June.
Al Shabab Saudi FC have announced the signing of Senegalese international Alfred N'Diaye, who joined the club on a three-year deal on Saturday.
The French-born defensive midfielder was signed from Villareal but has spent much of his three-season spell on the books of the Spanish club on loan elsewhere, with stints at Hull City, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Málaga.
The 29-year-old has appeared 28 times for Senegal and was part of the squad that reached the African Cup of Nations Final in July.
Evergreen Oman goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi has made a return to English football, joining Championship club West Bromwich Albion one-year contract after signing on a free transfer.
A Premier League regular earlier in his career with Wigan, Al Habsi, 37, reappears in England after a spell with Saudi giants Al Hilal, where he won the Saudi Professional League and Super Cup in 2018.
In addition to his club exploits, Al Habsi has over 100 caps for Oman, appearing in three AFC Asian Cups. He is the only player from the nation to ever appear in the English top-flight.
Saudi Professional League club Al Fateh have secured the services of one-time Portuguese international defender André Pinto from Sporting Clube de Portugal.
The towering 196cm stopper joins Al Fateh on a free transfer, having signed a two-year contract with the club who participated in the AFC Champions League group stage in 2014 and 2017.
Pinto, 29, has an impressive résumé, with previous stints with Portuguese heavyweights FC Porto, Braga and Sporting as well as a season with 20-time Greek champions Panathinaikos. His sole international appearance came in 2015.
Algeria’s African Cup of Nations-winning winger Youcef Belaïli has joined Al Ahli Saudi FC on a three-year contract.
Belaïli, 27, was an important part of the Algerian side which became African champions last month, scoring against Senegal and Guinea as the Fennecs won the title for the second time.
He is also a two-time CAF Champions League winner, lifting the continental title in 2018 and 2019 with Tunisian club Espérance Sportive de Tunis.
The move to Jeddah is Belaïli’s first experience in Asian football, with all of his prior club experience coming in North Africa, with the exception of a brief spell at French club Angers.
Al Ahli Saudi FC have also completed the signing of FC Nantes’ Brazilian left-back Lucas Lima.
The 27-year-old makes the switch to West Asia after over 100 appearances in France’s Ligue 1, becoming the latest in a long line of Brazilians to become involved with the Jeddah-based club.
An attacking full-back and set-ball specialist, Lima will look to help Al Ahli advance to the 2020 AFC Champions League group after their fourth-place domestic finish in 2018-19.
Korea Republic forward Lee Seung-woo is the latest Asian player to sign for Sint-Truiden after joining the Belgian outfit a permanent basis from Hellas Verona, the club confirmed on Friday.
Lee is the fifth player from an Asian nation to sign for Sint-Truiden this transfer window, following the footsteps of Japanese trio Yuma Suzuki, Daniel Schmidt and Tatsuya Ito – all of whom arrived on permanent transfers – and Vietnam striker Nguyen Cong Phuong, who joined on loan.
Touted as a star of the future, Lee joined Spanish giants Barcelona as a 13-year-old in 2011 and won the AFC Young Player of Year in 2017 before spending two seasons with Italian club Verona.
Still only 21, Lee has appeared 11 times for Korea Republic, including at the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, and was an Asian Games gold medallist in 2018.
Trent Sainsbury’s time at Dutch powerhouse PSV Eindhoven is up, with the Socceroos defensive leader joining Israel’s Maccabi Haifa on a free transfer on Thursday.
The 27-year-old made only nine appearances for the 24-time champions after joining former Australian national team assistant Mark van Bommel at the club in the wake of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Sainsbury joins fellow Australian international Nikita Rukavytsya at Maccabi, who finished second in the Israeli league last season.
An AFC Asian Cup winner In 2015, Sainsbury has racked up 46 caps for Australia, spending time with, among others, Italian giants Inter Milan and Chinese high-flyers Jiangsu Suning among since his introduction at Central Coast Mariners.
Islamic Republic of Iran midfielder Saeid Ezatolahi is the latest Asian international to sign for a Belgian club, joining KAS Eupen on loan from Russia’s FC Rostov.
The 22-year-old joins the top-flight outfit on a season-long arrangement, but Eupen retain the option of signing the Team Melli star on a permanent deal, the club revealed when announcing his arrival on Wednesday.
Ezatolahi joined Rostov in 2015 before spending time on loan at clubs in Russia as well as England, where he joined Championship outfit Reading before a long-term injury sidelined him for much of last season.
Those injury woes also ruled him out of Iran’s AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 campaign, but he did appear at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, where he started against both Spain and Portugal.
Australian international Tomi Juric will extend his stay in European football after signing for 31-time Bulgarian champions CSKA Sofia on a free transfer.
The 28-year-old striker joins the club after departing from Switzerland’s FC Luzern, where he scored 21 goals in 74 appearances since arriving in 2016.
Juric has 41 caps and was part of the Socceroos outfit which won the 2015 AFC Asian Cup. He is also an AFC Champions League winner, scoring the winning goal against Al Hilal when Western Sydney Wanderers became the only Australian club to lift the trophy in 2014.
Ritsu Doan will become the first Japanese player to play for PSV Eindhoven, after the Dutch giants reached an agreement to sign the attacking midfielder from fellow Eredivisie outfit Groningen.
Doan, already capped 11 times at the age of 21, scored twice at January’s AFC Asian Cup and is a former winner of the AFC’s Young Player of the Year Award after leading Japan to the AFC U-19 Championship in 2016.
John de Jong, PSV’s director of football, said: “We wanted to bolster our squad with the signing of a versatile attacker. Doan perfectly fits our profile and we are very satisfied we have been able to reach an agreement with FC Groningen.”
Islamic Republic of Iran forward Kaveh Rezaei has returned to Belgium’s RSC Charleroi on loan from Club Brugge.
The 27-year-old scored 19 goals in 45 appearances in a previous 24-month stint with Charleroi but failed to replicate that form after becoming Club Brugge’s record signing in August 2018, scoring only once as they were beaten to the title by Genk.
An AFC U-16 Championship winner in 2008, Rezaei has appeared 11 times for Team Melli but was not a part of their 2019 AFC Asian Cup squad.
Abu Dhabi: South African international Thulani Serero has completed his move to UAE Pro League side Al Jazira from Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem on a two-year deal.
The 29-year-old Serero made his professional debut at Ajax Cape Town, scoring 17 goals and later at Dutch giants Ajax Amsterdam, featuring 88 times before moving to Vitesse Arnhem.
Serero is the latest talent to join Al Jazira, who have signed UAE stars Omar Abdulrahman, Amer Abdulrahman, experienced midfielder Sultan Al Ghaferi, Moroccan forward Mourad Batna, Brazilian attacker Keno and Serbian defender Milos Kosanovic.
The South African will join with his new teammates in Abu Dhabi ahead of their match against Shabab Al Ahli in the second matchweek of the UAE League Cup on September 1.
Another Australian is set to appear in this season’s UEFA Women’s Champions League, after Matildas forward Emily Gielnik joined German giants FC Bayern Munich on Friday.
Arriving from W-League outfit Melbourne Victory, and with previous stints in England, Canada, Japan and Norway, the 27-year-old will join a squad which reached the UEFA Women’s Champions League semi-finals last season.
Gielnik said a dream had been fulfilled by signing with the 2018-19 Frauen-Bundesliga runners-up, who provided seven of Germany’s squad for this year’s FIFA World Cup.
"I'm excited. It is the dream of every footballer to play for a top club like Bayern Munich,” she told the club’s website. “As a striker, I now want to score as many goals as I can for my new club,"
Gielnik is one of three Australians who will see UEFA Women’s Champions League, with Atlético Madrid’s Alex Chidiac and Lisa De Vanna of Fiorentina also set to feature in the competition.
Tajikistan international Nuriddin Davronov has put pen to paper on an eight-month deal with Muscat-based Oman Club, the Football Federation of Tajikistan confirmed on Thursday.
A 28-year-old midfielder, Davronov joins the Omani outfit from Tajik League champions FC Istiklol, who he turned out for in this year’s AFC Cup.
Davronov’s move isn’t his first foray abroad in club football. He has also appeared for Indonesia’s Madura United and Serbian outfit FK Sloboda Užice in addition to youth football experience in Russia and Belarus.
He also had a decade-long career with the Tajiikistan national team, although he wasn’t part Usmon Toshev’s most recent squad at July’s Intercontinental Cup in India.
Veteran Moroccan playmaker Mbark Boussoufa has extended his stay in West Asian football, joining 2020 AFC Champions League-bound Qatari club Al Sailiya on a free transfer.
Recently retired from international football after a glittering 70-cap career, the 35-year-old joins the Doha-based club - who finished third in the 2018-19 Qatar Stars League - after spells with the UAE’s Al Jazira and Al Shabab of Saudi Arabia.
Boussoufa previously starred in European football, winning Belgium’s Player of the Year Award three times in spells with Ghent and Anderlecht before moving to Russia, where he played for Anzhi Makhachkala and Lokomotiv Moscow.
Australia's Melbourne Victory have announced the signing of Austrian attacking midfielder Kristijan Dobras on a one-year deal.
Croatian-born Dobras, 26, made his debut in the Austrian Regionalliga (third division) in 2010/11 for Rapid Wien II, amassing 53 appearances and scoring 11 goals before earning a call-up to Rapid Wein’s senior side in the Austrian Football Bundesliga.
The midfielder has since made over 130 appearances and scored 15 goals in the first and second divisions in Austria since 2012 for Rapid Wien, Grödig, Wiener Neustadt, Sturm Graz and most recently Rheindorf Altach.
Persepolis have confirmed signing Brazilian forward José Brandão on a one-year loan deal.
Brandão, 24, began his career in Brazil with Juventus-SC in 2015 with a few stints in various clubs in the Serie C and D, before signing with Bulgaria's Ludogorets II in 2018.
He returned to Brazil on loan to Goias the following year, but will now look to play a vital role for the Iran Pro League defending champions, who open their 2019/2020 season against Pars Jonoubi Jam on August 22.
Esteghlal FC of the Islamic of Iran have announced the signing of Hrvoje Milić on a two-year contract.
The 30-year-old left-back has featured in several leagues across Europe, namely in Sweden's Allsvenskan, the Croatian First Football League and the Russian Premier League with FC Rostov.
Milić has donned the Croatian national team jersey six times, and his career includes stints with Fiorentina, Olympiakos, Napoli and, most recently, Italy's Crotone.
Islamic Republic of Iran's Tractorsazi have signed Peruvian forward Willyan Mimbela on a three-year contract.
The move marks Mimbela's first appearance in Asia, having spent his career playing with Peru's Sporting Cristal and Union Comercio, as well as a stint in Portugal with Nacional Madeira.
Tractor will open their 2019/2020 Iran Pro League season against Naft Masjed Soleyman on August 22.
Abbel Issa Camará has joined Machine Sazi, ahead of their upcoming Iran Pro League 2019/2020 season.
The forward from Guinea-Bissau has previously played in Asia, when he was on loan with Saudi Arabia's Al Faisaly in 2015.
Camará, 29, has a wealth of experience having played in Portugal, Cyprus, Italy, Kazakhstan and most recently in Turkey with Elazigspor.
Al Jazira have completed the signing of Serbian defender Milos Kosanovic from Belgian Club Standard Liege. The 29-year-old has signed a two-year contract and will join up with his new teammates in Abu Dhabi ahead of the start of the UAE Pro League 2019-20 season.
Kosanovic arrives at Al Jazira with plenty of experience in the Polish and Belgian leagues, and in his native Serbia. The versatile defender made his professional debut for Mladost Apatin in Serbia before moving to Cracovia Krakow in Poland. He later switched to Belgian giants Standard Liege, featuring 22 times before moving to Goztepe on loan.
His talent has seen him represent Serbia U-21 level as well as the senior national team squad.
With the acquisition of Kosanovic, it’s been a remarkable couple of weeks for Al Jazira who have strengthened their squad this summer with six new signings.
Experienced midfielder Sultan Al Ghaferi, Moroccan attacking forward Mourad Batna, UAE national team stars Omar Abdulrahman and Amer Abdulrahman as well as Brazilian forward Keno have all arrived at The Pride of Abu Dhabi and the signings have stirred yet more excitement amongst fans ahead of the start of the new season.
Philippines international James Younghusband has joined two-time Philippines Football League (PFL) defending champions Ceres Negros FC.
The 32-year-old attacking midfielder signed with the Bacolod-based club during the closing of the midseason transfer window on Thursday.
Younghusband's signing will boost Ceres' chances of a third straight title, with the club leading the standings on 31 points, three ahead of Kaya-Iloilo FC.
Younghusband signed as a free agent and him joining Ceres-Negros is a boost for the Philippines national team ahead of the second round of the Asian Qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 which kick off in September.
Berlin: Japan international Wataru Endo has joined German second division side Stuttgart on a one-year loan deal, the club announced on Tuesday.
Endo, 26 arrives on loan from Belgian club Sint-Truiden, whom he joined in 2018 after spells at J-League clubs Shonan Bellmare and Urawa Red Diamonds.
"It’s a signing we’ve been working on for a long time. We’ve been following Wataru’s development over a long period," said Stuttgart sporting director Sven Mislintat.
"Every club wants to have such versatile players in their ranks."
The defensive midfielder won the AFC Champions League with Urawa Red Diamonds in 2017, but will now be scrapping for promotion with Stuttgart, who were relegated from the Bundesliga last season.
"Stuttgart are a club with a long tradition and one where a number of Japanese players have played in the past," said Endo.
"I want to do my bit to help them return to the Bundesliga."
Endo is the fifth Japanese player to play for Stuttgart, following in the footsteps of Shinji Okazaki, Gotoku Sakai, Hajime Hosogai and Takuma Asano.
Madrid: Former Manchester United midfielder Shinji Kagawa completed a surprise move from Borussia Dortmund to Spanish second-tier side Real Zaragoza on Friday.
The 30-year-old has signed a two-year contract with Zaragoza who finished 15th in the Segunda Division last season and have not played in the top flight since 2013.
Kagawa has won two Bundesliga titles, one Premier League title, two German Cups and an AFC Asian Cup with Japan, for whom he has played at two World Cups and made 97 appearances.
He joined Dortmund nine years ago as a 20-year-old and his electric performances under coach Jurgen Klopp earned him a switch to United and the Premier League in 2012.
The Japanese midfielder returned to Dortmund two years later but after a difficult spell in England, he struggled to rediscover his best form and joined Besiktas in January on a six-month loan deal.
A Zaragoza statement read: "Real Zaragoza and Borussia Dortmund have reached an agreement for the transfer of footballer Shinji Kagawa, who joins the Zaragoza team with a contract for the next two seasons."
Dortmund wrote on Twitter: "After 7 amazing seasons in Dortmund, we say goodbye. Forever a Black and Yellow legend."
Australian international Aaron Mooy will remain in the Premier League, after sealing a one-year deadline day loan move to Brighton and Hove Albion from relegated Huddersfield Town.
Mooy, who was Huddersfield’s Player of the Year in their 2016-2017 promotion season made over 100 appearances for the club, playing initially on loan from Manchester City before joining on a permanent transfer ahead of their maiden Premier League campaign.
The 28-year-old midfield maestro will team up with Australian international goalkeeper Mat Ryan at Brighton, with the par expected to be key contributors to the Socceroos’ Asian Qualifiers campaign starting next month.
Mooy wasn’t the only Socceroo to compete a deal on the final day of business in England, with international teammate Massimo Luongo joining Sheffield Wednesday for an undisclosed fee.
The 43-cap international heads north after three seasons and over 100 matches for fellow Championship club Queens Park Rangers having joined the club shortly after becoming the tournament MVP in Australia’s 2015 AFC Asian Cup triumph.
Luongo has spent his entire professional career in the English game, with further spells at Tottenham Hotspur, Ipswich Town and Swindon Town.
Australia’s all-time women’s national team top scorer, Lisa De Vanna, has signed with Italian Serie A club Fiorentina on a one-season deal.
De Vanna, 34, will play in the UEFA Women’s Champions League in the latest move in a long and well-travelled career which has seen her appear for a long list of clubs in Australia, the US, Sweden and England.
With a record 47 goals, De Vanna remains part of Australia’s national team set up and recently brought up her 150th international cap at FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019.
Korea Republic star Ji So-yun has extended her contract with Chelsea until 2022.
Chelsea announced on their website that Ji, who joined the Blues in 2014, will be around for three more seasons.
The 28-year-old midfielder has netted 56 goals in 136 appearances for Chelsea and helped the club to the FA Women's Super League and FA Women's Cup titles in 2015 and 2018.
The talismanic Omar Abdulrahman has signed for UAE Pro League side Al Jazira, the club has announced.
On a busy day, Al Jazira also announced the signing of Amer Abdulrahman and both players expressed their delight at joining the club.
"Optimistic about the future and I believe that we will celebrate a lot of good things together," said attacking midfielder Omar, 27.
The AFC 2016 Player of the Year will be a valuable addition to the Al Jazira ranks as they prepare for the 2019-20 UAE Pro League season.
He joins Al Jazira as a free agent after opting not to stay with Saudi Arabia's Al Hilal SFC.
Amer, also a midfielder, thanked the club for signing him.
"I will give everything to be at my best and to repay the Club for the opportunity," said Amer, 30.
Star-studded Vissel Kobe have bolstered their illustrious attacking ranks with the signing of Japanese forward Noriaki Fujimoto.
Formerly a prolific goal scorer in lower divisions, Fujimoto, 29, has netted eight times in the top-flight to help Oita Trinita in their rise to sixth on the table, but he will now be part of the bid to keep Vissel out of relegation trouble.
The Kobe club boasts several European luminaries including David Villa, Andres Iniesta and Luka Podolski, but currently lies 15th on the J1 League table.
Ghanaian winger Ernest Asante’s time with UAE Pro League outfit Al Jazira has come to an end, but he will remain in the Gulf after signing for Saudi outfit Al Hazem.
The 30-year-old was a regular at the Abu Dhabi-based club in 2018-19, netting eight goals including a brace in their 5-1 league win over Al Ain in April.
A-League Premiership winners Perth Glory have signed versatile Australian defender Osama Malik on a three-year deal ahead of their AFC Champions League debut in 2020.
Malik, 28, spent the second half of the 2018-19 season at relegated Saudi top-flight club Al Batin, and has previous A-League experience with the likes of Adelaide United and Melbourne City, winning the FFA Cup with both clubs.
Japanese international Yosuke Ideguchi has returned to his homeland, rejoining Gamba Osaka from England’s Leeds United for an undisclosed fee, both clubs confirmed.
The midfielder, 22, was snapped up by the Yorkshire club in January 2017 after impressing for club and country, but leaves without making a first team appearance after loan spells in Spain and Germany.
Ideguchi was Japanese football’s Rookie of the Year in 2016, the same year he was part of the AFC U-23 Championship-winning team in Qatar.
Japanese forward Takuma Osano has joined Serbia’s FK Partizan after three years on the books of English giants Arsenal.
Osano, 24, joins Partizan, coached by former Premier League, Serie A and La Liga forward Savo Milosevic, in time to participate in their ongoing Europa League qualifying campaign.
After bursting onto the scene at Sanfrecce Hiroshima, Osano was snapped up by the Gunners in 2016 but failed to make a competitive appearance for the club, spending extended periods on loan with German sides VfB Stuttgart and Hannover 96.
Asano’s impact has been greater on the international scene, scoring twice for Japan on the road to FIFA World Cup Russia 2018, although he did not appear in their squad for the tournament proper.
Qatar's Al Gharafa SC have announced the signing of former Korea Republic international Koo Ja-cheol.
The transfer marks Koo's return to the Continent for the first time since he left Jeju United in 2010, and plying his trade in Germany with VfL Wolfsburg, Mainz 05 and most recently with FC Augsburg.
The 30-year-old midfielder has played his part for the Taeguk Warriors in the U-20, U-23 and senior national teams. Koo emerged as the 2011 AFC Asian Cup top scorer with five goals, and also earned a bronze medal from the 2012 Olympics, before retiring last January after Korea Republic's quarter-final finish in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup in the UAE.
Persepolis FC continue to bolster their squad ahead of the upcoming Iran Pro League season, signing striker Modibo Maïga from Buriram United.
Maïga, 31, has experience playing in France, Morocco and in England with West Ham United in 2012.
The Malian international also assisted The Eagles to back-to-back third-place finishes in the African Cup of Nations in 2012 and 2013.
He first moved to Asia in 2015 when he transferred to Saudi Arabia's Al Nassr, then had one-year stints with Al Ittihad Kalba and Ajman Club of the United Arab Emirates, as well as Thailand's Buriram United.
Japanese international forward Koya Kitagawa has departed his homeland for a spell in European football, joining 32-time Austrian champions SK Rapid Wien on a four-year deal.
Kitagawa, who celebrated his 23rd birthday last week, exits after a fruitful four-year spell with Shimizu S-Pulse, scoring 39 goals in all competitions, including 13 last season and seven during the current campaign.
He made his international debut against Kyrgyz Republic in 2018 and made four appearances for Japan as they finished runners-up at the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019.
Australia’s Adelaide United have bolstered their playing stocks with the addition of Norwegian striker Kristian Fardal Opseth, whose signing was confirmed by the club on Wednesday.
Opseth joins the 2008 AFC Champions League finalists from relegated Turkish Süper Lig outfit Erzurumspor, a club he joined in January 2019, but the bulk of his experience has come in his native Norway, where he scored 38 goals in 60 league matches for FK Bodø/Glimt.
The 29-year-old, Adelaide's third signing of the transfer window. joins the club on a one-year deal.
Japan's Shinji Okazaki has signed for Spanish side Malaga after leaving Leicester City on a free transfer.
The Japan international moves to the Segunda Division outfit on a one-year deal and becomes the first Asian player in Malaga's history.
He spent four seasons at the King Power Stadium and scored 14 league goals, including five on the way to the Foxes' famous title triumph in 2015-16.
Okazaki, 33, departed former Premier League champions Leicester following the expiry of his contract at the end of June.
Perth Glory have added a dash of AFC Champions League experience to their squad by signing Korea Republic defender Kim Soo-beom on a one-year deal.
Kim, 28, has chalked up more than 100 appearances for K-League sides Gwangju FC and Jeju United and represented the latter in the AFC Champions League.
A versatile defender who is comfortable operating on the left or right hand side of defence - or as a wide midfielder - Kim is relishing the chance to play overseas for the first time.
He will wear the No 12 jersey for Perth, and becomes the club's first ever Korean signing.
"Perth Glory had a great season last year and I heard many good things about the coach, the players and the city as well," he told the club's official website.
"I can already feel that there is a very bright and positive atmosphere within the squad and a winning mentality.
"I am really looking forward to being a part of this squad this year."
Mexican central defender Hector Moreno has left Real Sociedad in Spain to sign for Al Gharafa in the Qatar Stars League.
The 31-year-old has played 100 times for Mexico. He has played for Espanyol, PSV Eindhoven and Roma.
"Real Sociedad and Al-Gharafa SC have reached an initial agreement for the transfer of Hector Moreno," the San Sebastian club said. "The player is in Qatar, with the permission of the club, to pass the medical examination."
Uzbekistan international striker Sardor Rashidov has returned to Asian club football, joining Qatar Sports Club ahead of the 2019-20 Qatar Stars League season.
A three-time Uzbekistan Super League winner who has been capped 49 times by his country, Rashidov joins the Doha club after a brief stint with Portuguese top-flight outfit Nacional de Madeira, for whom he appeared just seven times, scoring three goals – all of which came in his second match for the club against Feirense in February.
Rashidov has already linked up with his new teammates at Qatar SC’s pre-season camp in Madrid ahead of the resumption of his career in the Gulf, where he has previously appeared for clubs in both Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
Qatar SC narrowly avoided relegation last season, needing to overcome Mauither SC in a play-off to retain their top-flight status after finishing in 11th place.
FC Bunyodkor have continued their summer signing spree, adding their third new arrival in less than a week by luring Uzbekistan international midfielder Shohruh Gadoev back to the club.
Gadoev - who is set to embark on a third stint at the club, including during their 2017 AFC Champions League campaign - returns to Tashkent after over a year in Korea Republic’s second-tier with Daejeon Citizen.
The midfielder, who can also play as a winger, has appeared 14 times in the Uzbekistan national team shirt, scoring once against United Arab Emirates in March 2013.
Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning have completed the signing of Croatian Ivan Santini (pictured above, left).
Santini, aged 30, is a forward and joins Jiangsu from Belgian clubside Anderlecht.
"He will greatly enrich the team's offensive tactics in the Chinese Super League," said Jiangsu in a statement.
Uzbekistan’s FC Bunyodkor have added two players to their line-up for the remainder of the season after securing the signatures of Russian winger Dmitri Ostrovsky and Ukrainian midfielder Yevgeny Chumak.
Ostrovsky, 21, has until recently been part of the FC Alay Osh side which leads the pack in Kyrgyz Premier League, appearing in 13 league matches and scoring three goals in the current season, with his last appearance coming in Alay’s Kyrgyz Super Cup defeat to FC Dordoi two weeks ago.
Ostrovsky previously played in Armenia, while Chumak – a 23-year-old former Ukrainian youth international – joins the two-time AFC Champions League semi-finalists from FC Shevardeni-1906 Tbilisi in the second-tier of Georgian football.
Belgian international defender Thomas Vermaelen has become the latest high profile player to move to Vissel Kobe, the Japanese club announced on Saturday.
Andrew Nabbout is the latest Australian international forward to return to Melbourne Victory, joining his former club on a one-year deal from Urawa Red Diamonds.
The nine-cap Socceroo re-joins the club where he made his full professional debut in 2013, and is poised to link up with the returning Robbie Kruse and Swedish international Ola Toivonen in what looms as a potent strike force for Marco Kurz’s side.
Nabbout, who has also played for Newcastle Jets and Malaysia’s Negeri Semblian, revealed his enthusiasm at returning to the city of his birth.
“The club’s expectations are clear in wanting to achieve success – I expect nothing less from Victory and I’m very excited to be given the chance to work towards that,” he said.
A-League newcomers Western United have announced the signing of Italian Alessandro Diamanti.
The 36-year-old Diamanti signed a one year deal with Western United and links up with head coach Mark Rudan’s side from Serie B outfit Livorno.
“I have played all around the world, with world class clubs and teammates, and Western United stood out to me after speaking with the coaches and staff, and hearing how they plan on having an impact in their first season in the A-League,” said Diamanti, who has made 17 appearances for the Italian national team.
“It’s exciting to join a club in a country where the popularity of football is growing so quickly.”
Japan's Takashi Inui is on his way back to his former La Liga club Eibar from Real Betis for an undisclosed fee, the Basque outfit have announced.
The attacking midfielder and both clubs "reached an agreement for the player to sign for three seasons until June 30, 2022", Eibar said in a statement.
Inui, 31, with 36 caps for his country, joined Eibar from Eintracht Frankfurt in 2015 and moved on to Real Betis after three seasons.
He notched up 11 goals in 94 appearances during his first stint at the Ipurua Municipal Stadium.
Betis loaned him to Alaves in January this year where he finished the campaign, playing 12 games and scoring twice.
Nicaraguan international Ariagner Smith Medina has joined defending Uzbekistan champions PFC Lokomotiv, with the 20-year-old one of five new signings to be presented to the press on Wednesday.
The towering forward joins the Tashkent-based club from fellow Uzbek outfit FC Qizilqum Zarafshon, who he found the net for on three occasions following his signing at the beginning of the 2019 season.
Smith Medina joined Lokomotiv’s other previously announced new arrivals - Javokhir Sokhibov, Ibrokhim Gankhonov, Takhir Rafaelov and the highly-rated Oston Urunov at Wednesday’s unveiling, where he praised the club as the best in Uzbekistan.
The Central American forward has three caps for his country, and played in the 2018-19 UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League qualifiers for his former club, Latvia’s FK Spartaks Jūrmala.
Turkmenistan international Ruslan Mingazov has swapped the Czech Republic for Kazakhstan, joining Premier League side FC Irtysh on a free transfer.
Mingazov’s move comes after five years in Czech football, initially joining FK Jablonec, with whom he played in the 2015 Czech Cup final, before further stints at Slavia Prague, Mlada Bolseslav and 1. FK Příbram.
The 27-year-old is a key figure in the Turkmenistan national team, starting all three of their matches in their appearance at AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019,
FC Irtysh are five-time Kazakh champions, but they currently sit tenth in the league standings, putting them at risk of relegation with less than half the season remaining.
Reigning Jordanian champions Al Faisaly have continued their recent strengthening of the club’s squad by acquiring the services of highly regarded striker Mahmoud Al Horani.
The 25-year-old Jordanian has joined the Amman-based outfit on a three-year deal from domestic rivals Mansheyat Bani Hasan.
Al Horani becomes the third signing of what is proving to be a busy summer for Al Faisaly, following the earlier arrivals of Khaled Al Assouli and Khaled Sayahin.
Having claimed last season’s Jordanian Pro League title, Al Faisaly are set to feature in the qualifiers for the 2020 AFC Champions League.
Japanese outfit Vissel Kobe have signed defender Joan Omari from Al Nasr FC of the United Arab Emirates.
Omari, of Lebanese-German descent, said he was delighted to have signed for Vissel Kobe.
"I appreciate that I came to a big club like Kobe.I will do my best to help the team. We will do our best to achieve the goals of the club."
Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal SFC have confirmed the signing of Peru international Andre Carrillo from Portuguese side Benfica.
The 28-year-old South American spent last season on loan with Al Hilal, but has now agreed a four-year-deal which sees him join the 2018-19 Saudi Pro League runners-up on a permanent basis.
Carrillo’s arrival, which was announced on Al Hilal’s social media channels, represents the second major transfer secured by the Riyadh-based club this month, after former Korea Republic international Jang Hyun-soo was signed from FC Tokyo earlier this month.
The club’s hierarchy have also recently confirmed that Al Hilal will not be renewing the contract of United Arab Emirates playmaker Omar Abdulrahman, while Australian defender Milos Degenek has been sent out on loan to Serbia’s Red Star Belgrade.
In the AFC Champions League, two-time runners-up Al Hilal are scheduled to meet domestic rivals Al Ahli Saudi FC in the first leg of their Round of 16 showdown on August 6, before hosting the return fixture a week later.
Australian midfielder Steven Lustica has put pen to paper with FC Qizilqum Zarafshon, joining the Uzbekistan Superliga side from Croatian outfit Inter Zaprešić.
Lustica, an A-League winner with Brisbane Roar in 2014, and a former regular at both Adelaide United and Western Sydney Wanderers, joins the Navoiy-based club on a six-month deal having rejected offers from suitors in Indonesia.
Now 28, Lustica appeared in the AFC Champions League in 2015 and 2017 and now follows in the footsteps of David Carney and Rostyn Griffiths as Australians to play top-flight football in Uzbekistan.
Melbourne Victory’s new head coach Marco Kurz has made his first signing at the club, bringing back Australian international winger Robbie Kruse on a two-year deal.
Kruse, 30, returns to the club as a free agent eight years after departing for Germany’s Fortuna Düsseldorf, having also taken in stints with Bayer Leverkusen, VfB Stuttgart, China’s Liaoning FC, and most recently, VfL Bochum.
Kurz revealed his satisfaction at completing the signing of Kruse, who has 75 caps for the Australian national team.
“Securing Robbie’s services for the next two years is a big win for the club. We see in Robbie a player not only with great experience here in Australia and overseas, but also someone that fits the culture of the club, something which will be very good for this team.”
Indian Super League outfit ATK FC have signed their third Australian A-League player of the transfer window, sealing the arrival of experienced attacking midfielder Dario Vidosic.
Vidosic, 32, joins the Kolkata-based club from Melbourne City, following the earlier signings of a pair of his former teammates, Wellington Phoenix attacking duo David Williams and Roy Krishna.
Islamic Republic of Iran striker Mehdi Taremi has signed for Portuguese Primeira Liga side Rio Ave FC.
In a globe-trotting career, Vidosic began life as a professional for hometown club Brisbane Roar, before spending time in Germany, Switzerland, Korea Republic and China PR as well as stints at a total of five A-League clubs.
A creative midfielder who can also play as a winger, Vidosic has also won 23 caps for Australia, earning selection for the Socceroos’ FIFA World Cup squads in 2010 and 2014.
Qatari side Al Gharafa SC have confirmed the signing of Algerian attacking midfielder Sofiane Hanni from Russia’s Spartak Moscow.
Al Gharafa, who finished eighth in the Qatar Stars League standings last season, announced the 28-year-old’s arrival via their social media channels on Monday.
Capped six times by his country, Hanni began his professional career in France with Nantes before going on to play for clubs in both Turkey and Belgium. He joined Spartak in January 2018.
Qatar's Al Rayyan SC have announced the signing of winger Yacine Brahimi from European giants Porto.
The 29-year-old, who featured twice for Algeria as they won this month’s Africa Cup of Nations title, has agreed a three-year deal with Al Rayyan.
Having joined from Spanish side Granada in 2014, Brahimi subsequently spent five years at Porto where he claimed Portugal’s top-flight title in 2018.
Widely regarded for his outstanding technical ability, the Paris-born also famously netted a UEFA Champions League hat-trick for his former employers in a 6-0 win over BATE Borisov.
Al Rayyan finished fourth domestically last season to earn a place in the 2020 AFC Champions League play-offs.
Australian international Milos Degenek’s time at Saudi giants Al Hilal has come to an end after six months, with the defender returning on loan to Serbia’s Red Star Belgrade, who have the option for an eventual permanent deal.
Degenek joined the Riyadh club on a three-and-a-half year deal following Australia’s elimination from the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, but has now joined the Serbian champions for a second time following his initial signing from Japan's Yokohama F. Marinos in July 2018.
The 25-year-old Socceroo, who supported Red Star as a child, will be hoping to help the club back into the UEFA Champions League group stage, where they famously beat eventual winners Liverpool 2-0 in last season’s competition.
Since making his international debut in 2016, Degenek has become a regular part of the Australian national team, earning 25 caps and starting all five of their matches at UAE 2019.
Pakhtakor’s bid to see off Tashkent rivals PFC Lokomotiv in Uzbekistan’s title race has been bolstered with the signing of Lokomotiv’s 24-year-old winger Husniddin Gafurov.
Gafurov has joined Shota Arveladze’s side on an 18-month deal, having appeared in eight league matches this season and all six of Lokomotiv’s matches in their 2019 AFC Champions League campaign.
With Pakhtakor holding an eight-point lead over reigning champions Lokomotiv at the top of the table, the move - confirmed on Monday evening by the club’s media department – looks set to boost their hopes even further.
Gafurov made a single appearance for the Uzbekistan national team against Oman in 2014 and represented his country at the 2016 AFC U-23 Championship in Qatar.
Anderlecht’s Senegalese international defender Kara Mbodji is the latest player to trade European football for a place at Qatar’s Al Sailiya, following Iranian forward Karim Ansarifard to the club on a three-year deal.
Mbodji, often known simply as Kara, won the Belgian title at Anderlecht in 2017, but spent last season on loan at French top-flight outfit Nantes before sealing a permanent move to the Doha-based club, who finished third in the 2018-19 Qatar Stars League.
The towering 29-year-old defender has been capped 47 times by Senegal, earning selection for the 2012 Olympics Games and 2018 FIFA World Cup, but he was not part of the squad which was defeated 1-0 by Algeria in the African Cup of Nations Final over the weekend.
Following the capture of Ansarifard and former Al Rayyan midfielder Daniel Goumou, Mbodji is the third player to join Al Sailiya this transfer window as they prepare for AFC Champions League football in 2020.
FC Istiklol captain Fatkhullo Fatkhuloev will spend at least the remainder of 2019 across the border in Uzbekistan, after joining FC Bukhara on a six-month deal.
In confirming the departure of Fatkhuloev - Tajikistan’s most capped international player - Istiklol said the 29-year-old midfielder’s move was motivated by a desire to experience a different competition.
With seven Tajik League titles his name, Fatkuloev has spent the vast majority of his career in Dushanbe, with his only previous international move coming in a short-lived stint with Indonesian club Persela Lamongan in early 2018.
Currently 12th in the 14-team Super Liga, Bukhara are coached by one of Tajikistan’s most successful footballing exports in 1994 Russian league winner Mukhsin Mukhamadiev, who also coached the Tajik national team from 2013 to 2015.
Fatkuloev and Mukhamadiev also previously worked together at club level for Istiklol, winning the league title without defeat and reaching the AFC Cup Final in 2017.
Salomon Rondon has completed a move to Chinese Super League club Dalian Yifang from West Brom for an undisclosed fee, the English Championship club announced on Friday.
The striker spent last season on loan at Newcastle and links up again with manager Rafael Benitez, who left St James's Park for China last month.
Rondon joined West Brom in 2015, making 120 appearances for the club and scoring 28 goals before their relegation from the Premier League at the end of the 2017/18 campaign.
The Venezuela international made 33 appearances for Newcastle last season, scoring 12 goals.
Rondon joins former Napoli captain Marek Hamsik and Belgium winger Yannick Carrasco on the books at Dalian Yifang.
"The club wishes Salomon and his family all the very best in the future," read a West Brom statement.
Midfielder Abdulaziz Hatem has signed for Qatar Stars League (QSL) side Al Rayyan on a three-year deal.
Hatem, 28, joins Al Rayyan from Al Gharafa, who he was with from 2015.
Hatem was a member of Qatar's victorious AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 squad and will be a welcome addition to Al Rayyan, who finished fourth in the 2018-19 QSL season to earn a spot in the play-off round of the 2020 AFC Champions League.
Al Rayyan will travel to Jerez, Spain on Saturday for a training camp which ends on August 8.
Adelaide United announced the acquisition of Curaçao international, Michaël Maria, on a two-year contract.
A product of PSV Eindhoven’s academy, Maria spent the first 10 years of his youth football at the esteemed Dutch outfit. The now 24-year-old later moved to Germany to 2. Bundesliga outfit VfL Bochum, where he continued to hone his versatility as a player who can effectively operate as a defensive midfielder or anywhere on the left flank.
After more than three years of playing in Germany, Maria returned to Holland in 2018 and joined Eredivisie side FC Twente.
Whilst he was born in the Netherlands, Maria actually represents Curaçao at the international level receiving 20 senior caps to date, the most recent of which coming at the Gold Cup 2019 in his nation’s 1-0 quarter-final loss to the United States.
Maria said the opportunity to reconnect with head coach, Gertjan Verbeek, was too good to resist.
“It feels really good to be joining Adelaide United,” Maria explained. “I saw the boys’ game on Tuesday night and I was impressed with what I saw at such an early time in the pre-season.
“When I heard from Gertjan, he didn’t have to say much at all to convince me because I’ve missed him as my coach and I trust him as a person and his football plan.
“I’ve worked with Gertjan twice before, first at Bochum and then when I was at FC Twente, and I’ve wanted to be his player again."
Islamic Republic of Iran's Zobahan FC has announced signing Macauley Chrisantus from Spanish club Conquense.
The 28-year-old striker will be joined by fellow Nigerian compatriot Ebiabowei Baker, who signed with Zobahan two days ago.
Iranian left-back Milad Mohammadi has completed his move to Belgium side KAA Gent from Akhmat Grozny of Russia.
Mohammadi, 25, has experience playing for clubs like Persepolis, Damash Tehran and Niroo Zamino FC in his youth, before making his professional debut with Rah Ahan in 2014.
His progress saw him called up for the Islamic Republic of Iran's U-23 team in 2016, where he scored a goal against Syria in their AFC U-23 Championship Group A opening match. He then caught the attention of former Team Melli head coach Carlos Queiroz, who called him up to the senior squad, and he featured in last year's FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Malaysian champions Johor Darul Ta'zim have announced the signing of goalkeeper Julian Johan Belcher.
The 17-year-old had previously trained with Queens Park Rangers, Sunderland and Eintracht Frankfurt, and will be attached with the JDT III team to further develop his budding talent.
Zobahan have signed Nigerian Ebiabowei Baker as the Islamic Republic of Iran club prepare for their 2019 AFC Champions League Round of 16 tie against Al Ittihad of Saudi Arabia.
The 25-year-old, who has been described as a reliable central defender with good pace, has joined Zobahan on a two-year contract.
Zobahan will face Al Ittihad in the first leg of the Round of 16 on August 5 in Dubai, with the return leg a week later in Doha.
Australia's Craig Goodwin has joined Saudi Arabia's Al Wehda Club ahead of the 2019-20 season.
Goodwin, 27, joins Al Wehda from Adelaide United who he signed for at the start of last season.
The winger recently earned his third cap for Australia, having featured in the friendly against Korea Republic in June.
Belgian side Sint-Truidense V.V. have signed striker Yuma Suzuki from J.League giants Kashima Antlers.
The 23-year-old will be the fourth Japanese at the club, joining compatriots Kosuke Kinoshita, Wataru Endo and recently-signed goalkeeper Daniel Schmidt.
Suzuki will also be playing alongside the likes of Vietnam international Nguyen Cong Phuong, who is on a one-year loan from Hoang Anh Gia Lai.
This will be his first move out of Japan, having been with Kashima Antlers since 2015, and has won an array of trophies, including the AFC Champions League in 2018, where he was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player.
Iraq international Mohanad Ali has joined Qatar Stars League side Al Duhail from Iraq's Al Shorta.
The 19-year-old forward starred for Iraq in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, scoring against Vietnam and Yemen. He signs a five-year deal with the Qatari side who are preparing for an AFC Champions League Round of 16 double header against rivals Al Sadd next month.
Ali fills the Asian player spot at Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium which had been vacant since Japanese international Shoya Nakajima swapped Al Duhail for FC Porto earlier this month.
Korea Republic's Hwang Ui-jo has completed his transfer to French club Bordeaux from J.League side Gamba Osaka, the club have announced.
Hwang started his career with Seongnam FC, lifting the Korean FA Cup in 2014 before moving to Gamba Osaka in 2017.
The 26-year-old striker had a remarkable 2018, where he played alongside Son Heung-min in the 2018 Asian Games to help secure Korea Republic a fifth title, with Hwang also picking up the Top Goal Scorer Award with nine goals.
Hwang was instrumental for Gamba Osaka in the domestic league as well, scoring 16 goals to keep his side safe from relegation and was named in the J.League's Best XI at the end of the season. He was also honoured as the KFA Footballer of the Year.
Hwang will now look to make his mark with Bordeaux, who finished 14th in the 20-team Ligue 1 last season.
Japan's Gaku Shibasaki has joined Spanish side Deportivo La Coruna from Getafe ahead of the 2019-20 season.
Shibasaki, 27, has signed a four-year contract and Deportivo, in a statement, said the player is a vital addition to the squad.
The midfielder featured in Japan's recent Copa America campaign and joins Deportivo after two seasons with Getafe. He also briefly featured for Tenerife in 2017, having played for Kashima Antlers from 2011 to 2017.
Kyrgyz Republic captain Valery Kichin has put pen to paper with Belarusian Premier League outfit Dinamo Minsk, ending a six-year stint in Russian football.
The 26-year-old defender joins the seven-time Belarusian champions from Yenisey Krasnoyarsk, where he was named by fans as the club’s Player of the Year as they were relegated during last season's Russian Premier League.
Kichin’s move from Siberia to Minsk means he may feature on the European stage this season, with Dinamo currently involved in an attempt to qualify for the UEFA Europa League after finishing third in their 2018 league campaign.
After a period of absence from the national team, Kichin starred as Kyrgyz Republic made history by reaching the AFC Asian Cup knockout stage in January and is expected to be a key figure in the Akshumkar’s 2022 World Cup qualifying push.
Bishkek-born Kichin is the third player from the Central Asian nation to join a Belarusian top-flight club this year, with youngsters Atay Dzhumashev and Gulzhigit Alykulov earlier joining Energetik-BGU Minsk and Neman Grodno respectively.
Islamic Republic of Iran winger Vahid Amiri, 31, has rejoined his former club Persepolis from Turkish side Trabzonspor.
Amiri won back-to-back Iranian Pro League titles in his previous spell with Persepolis, and was part of the side that reached the 2017 AFC Champions League semi-final, before leaving the Tehran club last summer for a spell at Trabzon where he made 22 appearances and scored one goal.
Gabriel Calderon's squad will be boosted by the return of the veteran, who was a key member of the Team Melli starting XI in the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the 2019 AFC Asian Cup where IR Iran reached the semi-finals.
Al Ahli signed Bosnian midfielder Elvis Saric, ahead of their Saudi Pro League season and 2019 AFC Champions League Round of 16 tie.
Saric is no stranger to the Continental tournament, having played with Korea Republic's Suwon Samsung Bluewings campaign last year.
Former Korea Republic defensive midfielder Jang Hyun-soo, 27, has signed for Saudi Arabian giants Al Hilal FC ahead of their 2019 AFC Champions League Round of 16 tie against Al Ahli Saudi FC.
Jang, who moves from FC Tokyo, has joined Al Hilal's training camp in Austria and will be aiming to earn place in the starting lineup for the showdown against Al Ahli on August 6.
"It was a difficult decision to leave the team this season, I felt strongly that I wanted to try new challenges in Barcelona, and I decided to move, and I believe that the various difficulties I will face from now on are absolutely necessary for my growth."
Qatar's Al Sailiya have announced signing Iranian international Karim Ansarifard for two seasons.
The 29-year-old forward brings with him a wealth of experience having played in the Iran Pro League with Saipa, Persepolis and Tractorsazi, before moving to Europe to play with Osasuna, Olympiacos and most recently Nottingham Forest.
Al Sailiya finished third in the Qatar Stars League last season, which earned them a spot in the 2020 AFC Champions League Play-off round.
Midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura has signed with Yokohama FC from Jubilo Iwata.
Nakamura, 41, will be playing alongside 52-year-old Kazuyoshi Miura, who holds the record for being the oldest footballer and professional to score a goal in a league.
Yokohama missed out on promotion to the J1 League last season after losing 1-0 to Tokyo Verdy in the Promotion Play-off semi-finals.
Nakamura, who has had stints with Scotland's Celtic FC and Spanish side RCD Espanyol, will be playing a vital role as Yokohama look to return to the top-flight for the first time since 2007. Yokohama are currently 11 points behind table-toppers Montedio Yamagata with half of the 2019 season still to be played.
Hanoi FC has announced signing Iranian defender Sajjad Moshkelpour ahead of their 2019 AFC Cup ASEAN Zonal Final.
This will be Moshkelpour's first move out of Iran since his professional debut in the Iran Pro League with Sanat Naft Abadan in 2009. The 28-year-old also had stints with Saipa, Khooneh be Khooneh and most recently Paykan.
Abdulaziz Al Ansari has transferred to Al Sadd on a one-year loan from Al Kharaitiyat SC.
Al Ansari made his professional debut with Al Sadd's reserve team in 2009 as a 16-year-old after graduating from the youth team.
He has donned the Qatari jersey for the U-17 and U-23 teams, and was also called up for senior duty in 2014 for the Maroons' WAFF Championship campaign, where they clinched their first title.
Al Ansari will be joining Al Sadd, as they leave for Spain on Sunday for a training camp in Barcelona.
PFC Lokomotiv have announced signing Oston Urunov from Navbahor.
The 18-year-old midfielder will look to assist the three-time Uzbek champions in defending their title, as they are currently sitting second in the Uzbekistan Super League standings, eight points behind Pakhtakor Tashkent.
Midfielders Luis Jiménez and Emiliano Vecchio have signed with Al Ittihad ahead of their 2019 AFC Champions League Round of 16 tie.
Al Ittihad, who are currently in Manchester for a training camp, will play the first leg match against Zobahan FC of Islamic Republic of Iran on August 5, and continue to bolster their squad after having signed Abdulellah Al Malki, Hamdan Al Shammari and Abdulrahman Al-Obood in the past month.
Takehiro Tomiyasu has became the second Japanese to sign for Italy's Bologna FC, following Hidetoshi Nakata's move 15 years ago.
Tomiyasu, then 20, began his career with Avispa Fukuoka in 2015, before being called up to the Samurai Blue U-19 squad where they clinched their first AFC U-19 Championship title.
His immense talent then paved the way for his transfer to Sint Truidense VV in the Belgian First Division A in 2018.
Tomiyasu graduated to the senior squad in head coach Hajime Moriyasu's AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 campaign last January. He scored a vital goal against Saudi Arabia to ensure Japan advanced to the quarter-finals with a 1-0 win.
Nineteen-year-old Hong Kong midfielder Dai Wai-Tsun, or also known as Tsun Dai, has signed a two-tear contract with Wolves Academy's U-23 squad.
Dai first moved to the UK in 2012, after progressing through the Eastern Sports Club and Kitchee Academy systems in Hong Kong.
Following four seasons developing at Reading, the midfielder moved to Bury where made nine League One appearances and scored against Fleetwood Town in the Checkatrade Trophy.
In the summer of 2018, Dai earned a move to Oxford, then spent the second half of the campaign on loan at FC Utrecht, playing 12 times.
Dai has now linked up with Rob Edwards’ squad and will travel with the group to Spain for a pre-season training camp this weekend.
Koki Anzai has joined Portugal's top flight club Portimonense SC from Kashima Antlers, announced the club.
The 24-year-old, who began playing for Tokyo Verdy in 2014, was grateful for his 18-month stint with the Asian champions, saying: "To the coaches, teammates, directors, officials and supporters, everyone's support at Kashima was key to my growth and here I had the fantastic opportunity to play in the AFC Champions League and in the Club World Cup."
Qatar's Al Arabi SC have confirmed signing Hamdi Harbaoui on a two-year contract.
The 34-year-old forward, who began his career with Tunisia's Esperance Tunis, spent most of his playing career in Belgium before making his first move to Asia in 2014 to Qatar SC.
Two years later, Harbaoui returned to Europe, where he spent time with Lokeren, Udinese, Anderlecht, Charleroi and Zulte Waregem.
Harboui will be expected to impress as Al Arabi aim for a better performance in the next season of the Qatar Stars League, with the hopes of returning to the AFC Champions League for the first time since 2012.
Esteghlal FC have announced the signing of Cheick Tidiane Diabaté from Turkish club Osmanlıspor on a two-year contract.
The 31-year-old centre-forward started his playing career with French club Bordeaux and has also played for Ajaccio, Nancy and Metz.
In January 2018, Diabaté joined Serie A side Benevento on loan for the remainder of the 2017–18 season. Diabaté spent the 2018-2019 season on loan with United Emirates club Emirates, making 19 appearances and scoring 10 goals before leaving for Esteghlal.
Diabaté has earned 39 caps with the Mali national football team, scoring 15 goals.
Al Ahli Saudi FC have signed Danijel Aleksić from Yeni Malatyaspor of Turkey.
The 28-year-old Serbian international has spent time in various countries across Europe - Italy, Germany, France, Poland and Sweden among them.
This will mark Aleksić's first move to Asia, and he'll aim to impress in Al Ahli's Saudi Pro League campaign as they vie to earn a 10th title, as well as their upcoming 2019 AFC Champions League Round of 16 first leg tie against Al Hilal SFC on August 6.
Chinese Super League giants Guangzhou Evergrande FC announced the signing of Brazilian forward Elkeson de Oliveira Cardoso from Shanghai SIPG.
Both Guangzhou and Elkeson will be vying for their third AFC Champions League title, as they host defending Asian champions Kashima Antlers for the first leg of the quarter-finals on August 28, before playing the second leg on September 18.
Melbourne City FC have announced the signing of Socceroos holding midfielder Joshua Brillante on a two-year deal ahead of the 2019/20 A-League season.
The Bundaberg-born midfielder began his professional career in the A-League, playing for both Gold Coast United and Newcastle Jets, before earning a move to Tuscany where he joined Serie A side Fiorentina. During his time in Italy, the 26-year-old had loan spells at FC Empoli and Como, before returning to Australia in 2016.
“This is an exciting time in Melbourne City’s journey, and I can’t wait to contribute and be a part of it,” said Brillante.
“Ultimately, I’m here to help Melbourne City win trophies and to improve myself every day in a high-performance environment. The opportunity to work with the new manager is really exciting - his vision is clear and ambitious, and we’re training at some of the best facilities in Australia.
“There is always a lot of work to do in pre-season, but I’m already looking to the first home game to show the fans what I can do. I’ve played in front of them before and know how passionate they are, and I’m determined to deliver football they’re proud to watch.”
Marko Arnautovic has completed his move from West Ham to Shanghai SIPG for an undisclosed fee, the Premier League club announced.
"West Ham United can confirm that Marko Arnautovic has joined Chinese Super League champions Shanghai SIPG for an undisclosed fee," West Ham said in a statement.
Arnautovic will join forces with former Brazilian internationals Oscar and Hulk at the Chinese champions.
Stephan El Shaarawy and Kim Shin-wook have signed for China PR's Shanghai Shenhua, the club announced.
Just days after Choi Kang-hee's appointment as the head coach, he will be reunited with his former frontman Kim, with the two having clinched one AFC Champions League and two consecutive K League 1 titles together.
Persepolis has signed Hossein Kanaanizadegan on a two-year contract from Machine Sazi Tabriz FC.
This marks Kanaanzadegan's return to the Tehran-based club, having began his professional career with Persepolis in 2013, which was followed by a loan move to Malavan in 2014.
In 2016, he moved on to rival club Esteghlal, where he suffered an injury that sidelined him until late in 2017, before joining Machine Sazi a year later.
The 25-year-old Iranian international defender's move ahead of the next Iran Pro League season will be vital, as Persepolis look to earn their 13th domestic title.
Al Jazira have announced the signing of prolific Brazilian striker Marcos da Silva Franca .
The 29 year-old popularly known as Keno or Marcos Keno, will join his new ‘Pride of Abu Dhabi’ teammates for the first time during this month’s summer training camp in the Netherlands for the new 2019-20 season.
Born in the Brazilian city of Salvador, Keno - who plays mainly as a left winger - is also adept at playing on the right wing and as a second striker.
Keno brings plenty of experience to Al Jazira having played for Atlas Guadalajara in Mexico, Botafogo and Palmeiras in Brazil before joining the Egyptian club Pyramids FC in 2018.
Keno played 33 matches for the Egyptian club Pyramids FC in the 2018-19 season where he was involved in 21 goals through assists and goals.
“I am excited for my new journey with Al-Jazira and I am delighted to join this great reputable club which was the home to some of the football world’s biggest names like the Brazilian legend Ricardo Oliveira and the African legend George Weah.
“I am fully aware of Al Jazira’s attacking play style and their commitment towards giving their fans a memorable match experience," Keno said.
Shoya Nakajima has signed a five-year deal with Portuguese top-side Porto from Qatar’s Al Duhail SC, the club announced on Saturday.
The Japanese international joined the six-time Qatar Stars League in February 2019, and was instrumental in Al Duhail’s campaign in the Qatar Amir Cup three months later, where they earned their third title after beating Al Sadd 4-1 in the final.
Youssef El Arabi has also been confirmed signing with Greece’s Olympiacos from Al Duhail.
The move marks the 32-year-old Moroccan international’s return to the European continent, as he began with French club Stade Malherbe Caen in 2008, before moving to Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal Saudi FC three years later.
In 2012, El Arabi then transferred to play in the La Liga with Granada, where he spent four seasons.
Al Duhail will play in an all-Qatari 2019 AFC Champions League Round of 16 tie against domestic rivals Al Sadd on August 6 , with the second leg set to commence a week later.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC recently announced acquiring left-back Ali Adnan from Italian Serie A Club Udinese Calcio.
Adnan, who is also an Iraqi international, was originally on loan to Vancouver and will continue his stay in the Major League Soccer until 2021, with an option for 2022, said the club.
"From my first day at this club, I feel like I’m at home. It’s not easy to find a club like this,” Adnan said. “I am very thankful to the club’s ownership, coaches, staff, and my teammates. The fans and city of Vancouver have been extremely welcoming and supportive. I look forward to representing everyone at the club to the best of my ability.”
Hoang Anh Gia Lai's Nguyen Cong Phuong has signed a one-year loan deal with Belgian club Sint-Truidense V.V.
The 24-year-old Vietnamese international, who was previously on loan with Korea Republic's Incheon United, was called up to the senior squad last January in the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019.
Cong Phuong scored a vital equaliser against Jordan in the Round of 16, and Vietnam eventually beat the West Asians 4-2 on penalties.
“Very proud and happy to join Sint-Truidense V.V. in the Belgian First Division A," said Cong Phuong. "This is a major turning point in my football career.
"Thank you to Mr Doan Nguyen Duc, coaching staff of HAGL Club, Vietnam football officials and Sint-Truidense V.V. I will try to train and play my best to please the fans."
Muangthong United FC have signed left-back Ernesto Amantegui Phumipha and centre-back Marco Ballini.
Both defenders are no strangers to the Thai League 1, as Spanish-born Ernesto moves from Port FC, while Ballini has signed from from Chainat Hornbill.
The two have been signed to bolster Muangthong’s backline as the Kirins are positioned 13th in the domestic league with 17 points, just four ahead of bottom-placed Chiangmai FC.
Adelaide United have announced signing Riley McGree from Belgium giants, Club Brugge, on a three-year contract.
The 20-year-old returns to his hometown club for an undisclosed fee and will remain with Adelaide until the end of the A-League 2021/22 season.
“It’s great to be back with Adelaide United and to have another opportunity at this great club ahead of a big season," McGree said.
“As a team, Adelaide had a very good season last year and were unlucky to miss out on a place in the Grand Final, so I have big ambitions for the club and myself for sure.
“Gertjan likes to play a style of football that suits me well so I’m excited to be part of this team and cannot wait for it all to begin.”
Romanian international Nicolae Stanciu has signed a four-year contract with Slavia Prague from Al Ahli Saudi FC.
This marks the 26-year-old's second stint in Czech Republic, where he had played for a rival club, AC Sparta Prague in 2018.
Islamic Republic of Iran's Mehrdad Mohammadi has completed his transfer to Portuguese club Desportivo das Aves, from Sepahan SC.
The 25-year-old winger was instrumental in the Isfahan-based club finishing runners-up in the 2018-19 Iran Pro League, three points behind domestic champions Persepolis.
Former Manchester City and FC Barcelona star Yaya Toure has joined Chinese side Qingdao Huanghai. The 36-year-old Ivorian midfielder left Greek side Olympiakos in December 2018.
"Since the start of my career I have always loved challenges and now I will make history once again with Qingdao Huanghai," he said.
"I can't wait to let my football do the magic once again."
Korea Republic defender Kwon Kyung-won has returned to current K-League champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors on a loan deal from Tianjin Tianhai.
The 2015 AFC Champions League runner-up came up through the youth academy at Jeonbuk and played his first season as a professional with them in 2013.
UEFA Champions League-winning manager Rafael Benitez has announced that he will join Chinese top-tier side Dalian Yifang, just days after his three-year reign at English club Newcastle United came to an end.
Buriram United have announced the signing of Swedish striker Rasmus Jönsson.
The current Thai Premier League leaders will hope the 29-year-old Scandinavian, capped twice for his country, can fire them to an eighth domestic championship.
The 69-year-old Serbian, affectionately known as ‘Raddy’, was famously coach of the Singapore national team from 2003 to 2012.
Philippines international Alvaro Silva has signed for Thailand's Suphanburi FC.
The defender announced his intention to leave former club Ceres Negros at the end of last month.
German midfielder Alexander Baumjohann has switched from Western Sydney Wanderers to arch-rivals Sydney FC on a two-year deal.
“I’m very excited and very happy to sign for such a big club like Sydney FC,” Baumjohann said.
“I came to Australia last year not knowing a lot about Australian football. However, it didn’t take me long to see that Sydney FC is the biggest club in the country by far and in all aspects of the game."
Korea Republic's Choi, 60, had been at the helm since February. He cited personal reasons for his decision to leave Dalian Yifang.
The former Japan national head coach will lead Thailand's bid to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar and AFC Asian Cup China 2023.
The former Argentina international replaces Croatian Branko Ivankovic, who is now leading Saudi Arabia's Al Ahli.
Australia captain Mark Milligan has joined England's Southend United.
The 33-year-old midfielder, who can also play at centre-back, has signed a one-year deal plus a club option for a further year.
"I’m very excited. It’s always a process but to be down here now I can’t wait to get started," said the Socceroos skipper.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to play a lot of games internationally and at some major tournaments as well so one thing that I will bring is experience, on and off the pitch."
Japan goalkeeper Daniel Schmidt has agreed terms to join Belgian club Sint-Truidenese V.V.
The Samurai Blue custodian will fly out to his new club on July 13.
IR Iran prodigy Allahyar Sayyadmanesh has signed a five-year deal with Turkish giants Fenerbahce.
The 18-year-old striker excelled in his first season as a professional for Esteghlal in the 2018-2019 campaign, and made his national team debut last month in a goal-scoring cameo off the bench against Syria.
Sayyadmanesh was named in the Guardian Next Generation 2018: 60 of the best young talents in world footbal list.
Afghanistan midfielder Mustafa Zazai has signed for Cambodian side Phnom Penh Crown FC from Malaysia club Kelantan FC.
Zazai, 26, has scored four goals in 30 appearances for the Afghanistan national team. Phnom Penh Crown are currently seventh in the Cambodian League having collected 21 points from 12 matches.
Defender Alvaro Silva is parting ways with Ceres Negros FC following the Philippines club’s exit from the 2019 AFC Cup.
The Philippines international joined Ceres earlier this year after appearing for Kedah FA in the 2018 Malaysia Super League.
In August 2017, Sekine moved to play with German Second Division team, FC Ingolstadt 04, before he was then loaned out to Belgium's Sint -Truiden in 2018, where he opened his European account with a late equaliser against KFCO Beerschot VA in April 2019.
Photos: Sydney FC, Dalian Yifang, Qingdao Huanghai
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