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Chile star Sanchez leaves Barcelona for Arsenal

  • The Associated Press
  • Published Thursday, July 10, 2014, at 2:19 p.m.
  • Updated Thursday, July 10, 2014, at 3 p.m.

— Chile striker Alexis Sanchez ended his three-year stint at Barcelona by joining Arsenal for a reported fee of 35 million pounds ($60 million) on Thursday, adding some much-needed firepower to the English Premier League side.

The 25-year-old Sanchez, who impressed in Chile's run to the last 16 of the World Cup in Brazil, signed a "long-term" contract with the London club.

He is Arsenal's second most expensive signing — after Germany playmaker Mesut Ozil — and gives the team options either up front as a replacement or foil to Olivier Giroud, or as a right winger.

"Alexis will add power, creativity and much quality to our squad," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said. "He has consistently produced top-quality performances at the highest level for a number of seasons."

Sanchez enjoyed the best season of his club career in the 2013-14 campaign, scoring 21 goals for Barcelona, but was never a regular for the Spanish side and was in the shadow of Lionel Messi.

Giroud had to shoulder much of Arsenal's attacking burden last season, when Wenger's side won the FA Cup to end a nine-year trophy drought.

"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," Sanchez said.

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