Barcelona celebrates Alexis signing

15:17, July 23, 2011      

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The Barcelona sporting press on Friday hailed the confirmation of Alexis Sanchez as FC Barcelona's first signing of the summer.

The Spanish and European Champions were able to confirm the signing of Chilean international winger Alexis from Italian side Udinese on Thursday evening.

Alexis, who has been playing for his country in the Copa America, cost Barcelona 26 million euros with a further 11 million payable depending on results.

The 22-year-old, who has spent the past three seasons in Europe, has agreed a five year contract and has a buyout clause of 100 million Euros on his contract.

Both Catalan sports papers, Diario Sport and El Mundo Deportivo, hailed Alexis' arrival with the front page headline 'Signed!'

That headline probably reflects the nerves that had been building up over Barcelona's failure to bring in any new faces while rivals Real Madrid have bought five new players over the summer as they prepare for the new campaign.

A fast and talented winger who is capable of unlocking packed defenses and also scoring goals, Alexis was a priority signing for Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola, who confirmed in his first press conference of the summer on Tuesday that he wanted to see a forward arrive at the club.

Barcelona can now turn their full attention to trying to wrest midfielder Cesc Fabrigas away from English Premier League side, Arsenal, while Alexis' arrival will probably help speed up the transfer of Barcelona's young striker Bojan Krkic to Roma.

Alexis is expected to arrive in Barcelona this weekend and will be officially presented to the Barcelona supporters on Monday, however, due to having played the Copa America, he will not go on Barca's American tour, but will begin training with his new companions on Aug. 8.

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