LONDON (AFP) - Chile's star World Cup striker Alexis Sanchez agreed to join Arsenal on Thursday on a long-term contract for a reported fee of around 35 million pounds (S$74.4 million), the English Premier League side announced.
Sanchez, 25, joins Arsenal from Barcelona where he made a total of 88 appearances, scoring 39 goals during his three seasons with the Catalan side.
Reports suggested the transfer was worth in the region of 35 million pounds, which would represent Arsenal's second biggest outlay for a player behind the club-record 42.5 million pounds spent on Germany international Mesut Ozil last summer.
Sanchez, who won the 2012/13 La Liga title with Barcelona and the 2012 King's Cup, expressed his excitement at joining the north London outfit.
"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," said Sanchez.
"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." Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was full of praise for his new signing, who will add much-needed depth and quality to the Gunners' attack that relied heavily on Olivier Giroud for much of last season.
"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," said Wenger.
"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 played a prominent role in Chile's progression to the last 16 of the World Cup, scoring twice in four matches, before his country bowed out to host nation Brazil in a penalty shootout.
The Chilean is Arsenal's first signing of the summer with the Gunners also reportedly close to tying up a deal to sign France right-back Mathieu Debuchy from Newcastle United.
They have also been linked with a move for Debuchy's compatriot Loic Remy, who scored 14 goals on loan at Newcastle from parent club QPR last season.