Arsenal seal Alexis Sanchez signing for undisclosed fee
Arsenal, 8/1 to win the Premier League title, have signed Barcelona and Chile forward Alexis Sanchez on a long-term contract for a an undisclosed fee, reportedly in the region of £35m.
“I’m so happy to be joining a club which has a great manager, a fantastic squad of players and huge support around the world,” Sanchez, who will join up with his new teammates at the end of July, said.
“I’m looking forward to playing in the Premier League and Champions League.”
The 25-year-old, who can play on the wing or up front, became surplus to requirements at the Nou Camp when Barca entered negotiations with Liverpool over the much-maligned Luis Suarez. Sanchez’s exit from the Catalan giants suggests a deal to bring the Uruguayan frontman in is close to completion.
Part of the Chile team that lost on penalties to World Cup hosts Brazil in the last 16, Sanchez scored twice at the finals this summer. He is not the only eye-catching performer from the global stage that Arsene Wenger has his eye on either.
Sanchez’s new manager said on the transfer: “As many people have seen during the World Cup this summer, Alexis is a fantastic footballer and we are delighted that he is joining us.
“Alexis will add power, creativity and much quality to our squad and we are all looking forward to him joining up with us in a few weeks.
“He has consistently produced top-quality performances at the highest level for a number of seasons now and we are all excited to see him integrate into the Arsenal squad.”
North London outfit Arsenal are also on course to capture France and Newcastle United right back Mathieu Debuchy, while they are also heavily linked with landing Germany midfielder Sami Khedira and Colombia forward Jackson Martinez.
Barcelona have embarked upon a comprehensive summer shake-up, with Cesc Fabregas leaving his boyhood club for a return to England with Chelsea. Wenger opted against exercising the buyback clause on the Spanish midfielder.
New Barca boss Luis Enrique has already wrapped up swoops for Croatia international Ivan Rakitic, a replacement for Fabregas; and goalies Claudio Bravo and Marc-Andre ter Stegen. First-choice stopper Victor Valdes was out of contract, while veteran skipper Carles Puyol retired following persistent knee injuries.
Suarez should soon be completing his transfer to Barcelona, and he will be joined by returning loan players Gerard Deulofeu, Bojan Krkic and Rafinha.