Arsenal have confirmed the signing of Spanish wonderkid Jose Antonio Reyes for a reported 20 million plus pounds deal!
Arsenal sign Reyes in £20m deal
Arsenal are on the verge of breaking their transfer record with a swoop for one of Europe's brightest young talents, 20-year-old Spanish forward Jose Antonio Reyes.
Reyes will arrive at Highbury later this week to undergo a medical, with a view to completing a four-and-a-half-year deal that may be worth up to £20million after terms were agreed with Sevilla. The one minor problem is that he could arrive with a one-match suspension hanging over him if the ban is transferred from Spain to England. Then again, as his new manager, Arsene Wenger, joked: 'That just makes me think he has all the qualities to be an Arsenal player!'
Reyes admitted the move had taken place so quickly that it 'seems like a film' as Arsenal made clear their intention not to be muscled out of the transfer market by Manchester United or Chelsea. Having studiously saved their cash for more than two years since the signings of Francis Jeffers and Giovanni van Bronckhorst for a total around £15million, Wenger has now finally made his move.
The deal is expected to cost Arsenal about £9million up front but, with a complicated bonus system based on appearances, goals and team success, the entire package could rise close to £20million. And that would comfortably eclipse the Arsenal transfer record of a reported £13million paid for Sylvain Wiltord in 2000.
Wenger had been tracking Reyes for more than a year, having made an initial approach last July, and was initially lining up the talented Spain international for a summer move to Highbury. But injuries to Wiltord and Jeremie Aliadiere, and Kanu's departure for the African Nations Cup, have stretched resources so that a strikeforce aged just 36 - Quincy Owusu-Abeyie, 17, and David Bentley, 19 - will start the Carling Cup semi-final second leg at Middlesbrough.
Wiltord, Kanu and Dennis Bergkamp are also out of contract this summer, leading Wenger to eclipse United's £12million move for Louis Saha earlier this month with his stealthy move for Reyes. The Arsenal boss said: 'We have a game based on movement, technique and pace, and he has all of that. He is a good investment as he's 20 and is already an international. 'He can play everywhere, up front, on the left flank or even on the right, like any good offensive player. He can be adaptable and replace everybody, so we'll use him wherever we feel that we need him. 'If we buy a player, it's because we can afford him. When we buy young players, we make the price conditional on achievements, success and all that.'
Reyes' impending arrival at Highbury has left Wenger insisting that there will be no more signings - either this month or in the summer. That means their initial bid for Feyenoord's Robin van Persie will not be increased, while interest in Jermain Defoe will also be shelved. 'If we buy now, then we don't buy in the summer. If we sign him, we will not buy anybody else,' he stated, with his £20million budget now effectively exhausted.
Reyes, who has won three caps for Spain and scored 21 goals in 84 Primera Liga appearances for Sevilla, is, perhaps crucially, eligible to play in the Champions League for Arsenal. He was contracted to Sevilla until 2010, but his move has dramatically eased the Spanish club's financial problems.
'I'm the happiest man and the saddest man in the world at the same time,' he said on his personal website. 'I'm leaving the best team in Spain to join the best team in England. 'There is no doubt this is a huge step forward in my career, but I am not forgetting I am leaving the club I love with all of my heart and it has all happened so quickly that it seems like a film.
'I thank God that my sale has fulfilled what I always said - that it has left a good payday for the club and that I am going to spectacularly improve everything. 'I have never been so nervous, and I am remembering a lot of things and a lot of people who have supported me. 'I am upset that I am leaving the fans without saying goodbye, but I hope to return one day and hope they won't forget me.'
Sevilla president Jose Maria del Nido has revealed the 'out of this world' offer by Arsenal. Del Nido has refused to confirm the exact transfer fee for the 20-year-old although it is believed to be in the region of 30-35million euros (£20.7-£24.2million). 'This offer was out of this world,' said Del Nido. 'Barcelona made an offer for Reyes on Sunday and it was only slightly over half of what Arsenal offered. 'We have made a pact of confidentiality on the price and we cannot say. 'But I can tell you that it is greater than any other offer. It's more than was paid by Bayern for Roy Makaay, more than Barcelona paid for Ronaldinho.
'It is even more than Real Madrid paid for David Beckham.'
The Sevilla president insists the cash raised by the sale of one of Europe's most exciting talents will go a long way to easing the club's financial worries.
'To have turned this down would have been negligent towards the interests of Sevilla,' he said. 'With Reyes' interests in mind we couldn't turn this down either - this makes a huge difference in his life.
'By selling him we can liquidate 75% of our debt. I have always said we would only sell him if we received an offer above the going market rate. 'With all the factors considered, this offer is far higher than anything that has been paid or would be paid for any star in the market.'
Great news for all us Arsenal fans, while still raw, he will compliment Henry perfectly. Already a full Spanish international, and with clubs such as Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Barcelona all after him, this lad looks the goods!
Do any of our regular Spanish Primera Liga watchers or Spanish members, can comment on Reyes? Is it a good deal for Arsenal?