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Brentford sign Chuba Akpom; Michael Bradley joins Toronto FC

Brentford FC have completed the signing of England youth international striker Chuba Akpom from Arsenal on an initial one-month loan deal.

Brentford FC have completed the signing of England youth international striker Chuba Akpom from Arsenal on an initial one-month loan deal, according to the club’s official website, Brentfordfc.co.uk.

Akpom, 18, made his first-team debut for the Gunners against Sunderland on 14 September 2013, replacing Olivier Giroud in injury time.

The highly-rated 18-year-old will be tasked with helping the League One leaders achieve promotion to the Championship after the club failed to book a place in England’s second-tier via the promotion play-offs last term.

“I am delighted to welcome Chuba to the Club for what will be his first loan spell away from his home club,” said Brentford manager Mark Warburton.

“I have enjoyed watching Chuba’s development over the last two seasons and particularly noticed his contribution for Arsenal in the NextGen Series tournament.

“He is a strong, quick player with an excellent touch and good vision and I am sure he will make a valuable contribution to the squad in the weeks ahead.

“I would very much like to thank Arsenal for their most professional and prompt response to our request to take Chuba.”

The exit of Akpom leaves Arsenal with just three healthy strike options — Olivier Giroud, Park Chu-Young and Yaya Sanogo — ahead of Monday’s clash against Aston Villa in Birmingham.

Aston Villa (5/1); Arsenal (4/7); Draw (3/1)

Michael Bradley joins Toronto FC

Toronto FC have secured the signature of USA international midfielder Michael Bradley from AS Roma for an undisclosed fee, ProSoccerTalk understands.

The imminent deal — believed to be worth anywhere between $7 million and $10 million, according to various reports — was confirmed today by Bradley’s agent Alberto Faccini.

“Things have worked out well,” the American’s representative told Radio Radio.

“Michael made this choice and closed the deal with Toronto in just two days. There is a very important project there for him at Toronto, who have made an investment that is one of the most expensive in recent years.

“For Michael this was a difficult step to take but the choice was dictated by some market movements. Without waiting for January 31, he chose to follow this path also to help the growth of American soccer.

“There were many offers for him, also in Serie A, from clubs like Verona and Bologna. But Micheal chose to return in the States after 10 years in Europe. It was a tough decision, but one made with the heart.

“Roma wanted him to stay but it was his choice to move to Toronto.”

Since the end of the season, Toronto have been one of the busiest clubs in MLS.

Last month, the Reds acquired Brazilian-born midfielder Jackson Henrique Gonçalves Pereira from FC Dallas for allocation money and a second-round pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft, while also re-signing goalkeeper Joe Bendik.

On Thursday, Toronto confirmed the signing of Canada international midfielder Dwayne De Rosario, who was named the club’s Player of the Year back in 2009.

Meanwhile, the Reds are expected to announce the addition of England striker Jermain Defoe in the coming days.

Thu 9 January, 2014
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