Arsenal to sign Alexis Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez has agreed to join Arsenal from Barcelona on a long-term contract for an undisclosed fee.
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The 25-year-old Chile international completed his medical in London on Thursday, and will join up with his new team-mates at the end of July after spending some time on holiday following the World Cup.
Sanchez, who won the 2013 Primera Division title and 2012 Copa del Rey with Barca, is likely to make his first appearance for his new club at the Emirates Cup over the weekend of August 2-3.
The Gunners are also expected to bring in France defender Mathieu Debuchy from Newcastle, as manager Arsene Wenger looks to build on last season's FA Cup final success.
Bringing in Sanchez, who also had interest from Liverpool and Juventus, will present something of a personal coup for Wenger, who is understood to have spoken to the player face to face while working for French television at the World Cup in Brazil, convincing him Arsenal was the right place to further his career.
"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 at Arsenal Football Club," Wenger told his club's official website.
"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. I'm sure all Arsenal supporters will join me in welcoming Alexis to our club."
Sanchez scored 39 goals over three seasons with Barca, having joined the Catalan side from Udinese.
He has netted 24 goals in 71 appearances for Chile and helped his country reach the last 16 of this summer's World Cup, where they were knocked out on penalties by hosts Brazil.
"I'm so happy to be joining Arsenal - a club which has a great manager, a fantastic squad of players, huge support around the world and a great stadium in London," the player said.
"I'm looking forward to meeting my new team-mates and to be playing for Arsenal in the Premier League and Champions League. I will give my best to Arsenal and want to make all the supporters happy."
Barca later thanked the player for his contribution.
A club statement read: "FC Barcelona thanks Alexis Sanchez for his professionalism and dedication for the three seasons that he has been in the first-team squad, and wishes him all the best for the future."
The signing will not be completed until the player receives international clearance and is issued a work permit.
Meanwhile, the Gunners continue to work on bringing in other reinforcements to mount a long-overdue sustained assault on the Barclays Premier League title, having been clear at the top in January only to fade away and finish fourth.
While Debuchy will represent a Premier League-ready replacement for Bacary Sagna, who left on a free transfer to Manchester City, Wenger also has his mind on further additions.
QPR forward Loic Remy, rated at around £8million, is a potential target, having spent last season on loan at Newcastle, along with Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Lars Bender.
Reports have also linked Arsenal with Real Madrid's Germany midfielder Sami Khedira, although any possible move could well hinge on the personal terms.
Arsenal also need a goalkeeper, with number two Lukasz Fabianski having joined Swansea.
Midfielder Mikel Arteta has no intention of leaving the Gunners, according to his agent, with reports linking the Spaniard with Fiorentina.
Wenger will return to Arsenal after the World Cup final, ahead of a trip to New York at the end of the month.
After the Emirates Cup, Arsenal take on Premier League champions Manchester City at Wembley in the Community Shield.
Alexis Sanchez factfile
1988: Born December 19 in Tocopilla, Chile.
2004-06: Spends two years learning his trade with Chilean club Cobreloa.
2006: April 21 - Signs for Serie A club Udinese but remains in Chile to join Colo-Colo on loan.
Wins the Torneo Apertura with the Santiago side, for whom he scores nine goals in 48 games.
April 26 - Makes his Chile debut against New Zealand.
2007-08: Spends a season on loan with Argentinian club River Plate, scoring four goals in 31 appearances and winning the Clausura.
2007: September 7 - Scores his first senior goal for Chile in a 2-1 defeat to Switzerland.
2008: September 14 - Makes Udinese debut in a 1-0 defeat to Juventus.
October 19 - Scores his first goal for Udinese in a 2-2 draw with Lecce.
2009: February 9 - Fires the winner as Udinese beat Bologna 1-0.
2009-10: Helps Udinese reach the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia during a season in which he scores six goals.
2010: June - Appears in three matches for Chile at the World Cup in South Africa.
2011: February 27 - Breaks the record for most goals scored by a Chilean in a single Serie A match by hitting four as Udinese demolish Palermo 7-0.
May 22 - After forging a successful strike partnership with Antonio Di Natale he ends the 2010-11 season with 12 goals and 11 assists. Udinese finish fourth and qualify for the Champions League.
July 20 - Joins Barcelona for 26 million euros (£20.6million).
August 14 - Makes Barca debut against Real Madrid in the first leg of the Spanish Supercopa. Barca win the tie 5-4 on aggregate.
August 29 - Scores on his Primera Division debut as Barca beat Villarreal 5-0.
December 10 - Equalises against Real Madrid in an El Clasico derby that Barca go on to win 3-1.
2012: February 14 - Scores his first and second Champions League goals in Barca's 3-1 victory over Bayer Leverkusen.
2013: February 10 - Opens his goalscoring account for the 2012-13 season in a 6-1 victory over Getafe.
June - Finishes the season with eight league goals as Barca win the title with 100 points.
October 26 - Scores the winner as Barca beat Real Madrid 2-1 at the Nou Camp in the first El Clasico of the 2013-14 season.
November 13 - Having netted four goals during Chile's successful World Cup qualification campaign, he scores twice in a 2-0 friendly win over England at Wembley.
2014: January 5 - Registers his first hat-trick for Barca in a 4-0 win over Elche.
May - Finishes the season with a career-best 21 goals in all competitions, including 19 league goals.
June 13 - Scores Chile's opening goal of the World Cup in Brazil as La Roja beat Australia 3-1.
June 28 - Equalises against Brazil in a last-16 clash but, after the game ends 1-1 in Belo Horizonte, the tournament hosts win a penalty shoot-out to progress to the quarter-finals.
July 10 - Arsenal announce Sanchez has agreed to join the club on a long-term contract.