Clubs make last-minute additions

Although there are still a few weeks to go until the end of the transfer window, the kick-off to Europe’s major leagues is just around the corner. Time is therefore of the essence for clubs looking to add depth to their squads or snap up a last-minute bargain. FIFA.com runs the rule over the big moves that have already been registered over the past couple of weeks.

Relatively discreet in their dealings so far, English clubs have recently stepped back into the limelight. Tottenham Hotspur have brought in Spanish international striker Roberto Soldado, who scored 82 times in three seasons for Valencia, and French midfielder Etienne Capoue, whose performances with Toulouse saw him break into the French national set-up.

If the future of Gareth Bale remains in the balance, that of USA captain Clint Dempsey and of central defender Steven Caulker are now settled. The former Fulham man has put pen to paper with Seattle Sounders after just one season at White Hart Lane, while the young Englishman should prove be a useful addition to Cardiff City’s squad.

London rivals Arsenal have also been parting ways with players, including Gervinho and Marouane Chamakh, who will both be confident of gaining more playing time at Roma and Crystal Palace respectively. The Gunners’ French centre-half Sebastien Squillaci has returned to France to sign for Bastia, where he will rub shoulders with Ivorian defensive midfielder Romaric, who starred for Spanish outfit Real Zaragoza last season.

Indeed, planes leaving London are likely to be packed to the brim, because Queens Park Rangers have also been reducing the size of their squad, following their relegation from the Premier League.

Right-back Jose Bosingwa has joined Trabzonspor, where he will meet up with his former Chelsea team-mate Florent Malouda, South Korean midfielder Park Jisung has re-signed for PSV Eindhoven eight years after leaving the Netherlands for Manchester United, and sprightly forward Loic Remy has been loaned out to Newcastle United, taking the number of Frenchmen in the St James’ Park changing room to 11.

Last to bid farewell to Loftus Road Stadium, Moroccan playmaker Adel Taarabt, will at least not have to travel all that far to his new place of work, having committed himself to fellow Londoners Fulham.

Further north, Liverpool have acquired the services of Paraguayan defender Lorenzo Melgarejo on loan from Benfica, while West Bromwich Albion have swooped for experienced Uruguay skipper Diego Lugano, who struggled to establish himself at Paris Saint-Germain.

Brazilian Michel Bastos and Argentinian Lisandro Lopez never experienced that problem at Lyon and will leave for the Middle East – to Al Ain (UAE) and Al-Gharafa (Qatar) respectively – after significantly boosting their reputations at Stade de Gerland.

Coming in the door at Lyon is Cameroonian left-back Henri Bedimo, who secured a league winners’ medal with Montpellier in 2012, just like Nigerian forward John Utaka, who has departed La Paillade for Turkey, where he will star for Roberto Carlos’s Sivasspor.

His replacement at Stade de la Mosson, Colombian marksman Victor Hugo Montano, will require no introduction to Montpellier fans, having defended the jersey with distinction between 2005 and 2010, before packing his bags for Rennes.

For Tunisian attacker Saber Khlifa, however, the adventure is completely new; after performing in his homeland, in Libya and with modest French outfit Evian, he will gain his first taste of the UEFA Champions League this campaign with new employers Marseille.

Another player set to discover the continental competition for the first time is pacey Brazilian winger Bernard, who - after recently triumphing in the Copa Libertadores with Atletico Mineiro and in the FIFA Confederations Cup with A Seleçao - will strive to propel Shakhtar Donetsk to similar successes.

Portuguese front man Helder Postiga will also be playing on the European stage, but in the UEFA Europa League, after moving east from Real Zaragoza, with whom he found the net regularly over a two-year period, to Valencia.

Former Spain international Luis Garcia, fresh from a one-year loan stint with Mexican side Tigres, is the man charged with stepping into Postiga’s shoes in Aragon. Also arriving in La Liga from Mexico is Argentinian target man Joaquin Larrivey, who has swapped the jersey of Atlante for that of Rayo Vallecano.

Travelling in the opposite direction across the Atlantic is Daniel Guiza, who will defend the colours of Paraguayan giants Cerro Porteno this campaign. Since winning UEFA EURO 2008 with Spain, the clinical striker has exported his skills to Turkey and Malaysia.

In Asuncion he will be expected to fill the gap created by the departure of Paraguay international Santiago Salcedo, who has also enjoyed a somewhat nomadic career, having plied his trade in Turkey, Japan, Argentina and Mexico. His latest challenge involves a return to Argentina, where he will represent Banfield.

Argentinian football has regained another goalscorer in the shape of Colombian Teofilo Gutierrez, who has joined River Plate one year after quitting Primera Division rivals Lanus for Atletico Junior in Colombia and then Cruz Azul in Mexico.

Lanus will not be without firepower up front either, however, as seasoned campaigner Santiago Silva has been brought in from Boca Juniors. El Granate will be the 14th team of Silva’s career.

While that number may seem high, the Uruguayan still has some way to go to beat compatriot Sebastian Abreu. Now 36, El Loco has left Montevideo heavyweights Nacional – for the third time in his career – in favour of Argentinian side Rosario Central, thereby adding a 19th club to his extensive footballing CV.