FC Barcelona Completes Sanchez’s Deal
Alexis Sanchez has become the first Chilean to join FC Barcelona after signing a five-year deal with the European champions. The 22-year-old player has made the move from Udinese against 26 million euros, being likely to play alongside Messi, David Villa and Pedro in Barca’s attack.
The news was confirmed by the Catalans who added that the value might reach 37 million euros with all the variables included. Sanchez is expected to join his new side this weekend when he will be undergoing the medical test. The Chilean finished the season with 12 goals scored in 31 games, something which brought him the Best Player of Serie A honor. He is currently in South America where Chile have just finished their championship adventure, being ousted by Venezuela in the quarter finals.
Sanchez was named the best player in two of the four games he played in Argentina this Copa America. The youngster is at his fifth club, having also played for Cobreola, Udinese, Colo-Colo and River Plate. Sanchez scored 20 goals for the Italians whom he had joined back in 2006 and with whom he gathered 95 appearances.
The Chilean becomes the first big transfer at the Camp Nou as the Catalans are also expecting for a favorable answer from Arsenal regarding Cesc Fabregas’s situation. Barca already lost a striker as Bojan Krkic was brought to AS Roma by his former youth side coach Luis Enrique who has become the new manager at the Olimpico. Sanchez’s international career includes 14 goals and 40 selections with the national team of Chile, being a bronze medal winner with the U-20 side.
He is also winner of the 2011 Serie A Player of the Season as well as of the Player of the Month honor won in February this year. Sanchez mandate with Colo-COlo includes two Chilean Primer Division Aperturas and a Copa Sudamericana final. His adventure with River Plate had brought him the 2008 Primera Division de Argentina Clausura.
“Udinese and FC Barcelona have reached an agreement on the transfer of Alexis Sanchez. The cost of the deal is 26 million Euros with added variables of 11.5 million. The player is due in Barcelona this weekend. Medical tests and the signing of the contract, which is for five years, will take place on Monday,” FC Barcelona statement read.
Barca finished the season first, managing to defend the title for the second time in a row. Pep Guardiola’s side went four points ahead of their main rivals Real Madrid who could only win the Copa del Rey in the final against the same Catalans who also ousted them from the UEFA Champions League semi finals, to win the big trophy thanks to a 3-0 win against Manchester United.
Barca will face Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup, match which is scheduled to take place on August 14 on Santiago Bernabeu and 17 on the Camp Nou. Apart from Sanchez’s move, the Catalans are also interested in signing Braazil and Santos’s revelation Neymar whom the Spaniards want to bring on Camp Nou next year.
The 19-year-old striker is also in Real Madrid, Chelsea and Manchester City’s radars with Jose Mourinho’s side among the main candidates for his services. Santos declared they won’t sell the player until he competes for the FIFA Club World Cup where FC Barcelona also takes place. The Brazilians said that five giants, including Russians from Anzhi, are willing to pay more than $60 million for Neymar who is set to stay in South America for at least six more months.
Cesc Fabregas is still expected to join his former side, though Arsenal don’t seem to let him go that easy from the Emirates. Although the Catalans have improved their offer to a reported 40 million euro, the Gunners are still in talks with the Spanish champions who are desperate to sign the 24-year-old this summer, the more desperate the soap-opera has started last year.
Arsene Wenger is keen to keep the Spaniard in London from whom he expects the commitment despite Cesc’s desire to part with the English side with which he only won a FA Cup. The lack of trophies made Gael Clichy to take off and join Manchester City on a four-year deal, while Samir Nasri is also among the departing list in London.
Fabregas has scored 35 goals and gathered 212 selections with Wenger’s side with whom he reached the UEFA Champions League final back in 2006. Arsenal last won a trophy back in 2005 when the French’s side grabbed the FA Cup. Their last Premier League title dates from the 2004-05 season, while the most recent European success includes a Cup Winners Cup won back in 1994.11