Belarus international midfielder Alexander Hleb signed for Catalan giants Barcelona from English Premiership side Arsenal for 15million euros on Wednesday on a four year contract which will see him team up again with another former Gunner in Thierry Henry.
The move could cost another 2million euros depending on the player's performances whilst should he wish to leave before his contract ends it would cost the club wishing to buy him 90million euros.
“I love this club (Barcelona)” said Hleb, who joined Arsenal from VfB Stuttgart for 11.2million pounds in 2005.
“I spoke with (coach Josep) Guardiola and it was very important for me to learn how much he wanted me.
“I will give my best for this team and I want to win everything with Barca,” added Hleb, who scored 10 times in 130 Premiership appearances for Arsenal.
Hleb's departure from Arsenal follows that of fellow midfielder Frenchman Mathieu Flamini, who signed for AC Milan earlier this summer, and is likely to be followed by that of 2002 World Cup winning midfielder Gilberto Silva, who is slated for a move to Greek outfit Panathinaikos.
Arsenal have moved to fill one of those gaps by signing French international Samir Nasri from Marseille.
Barcelona – who have gone two seasons without silverware which led to Frank Rijkaard being sacked and replaced by Guardiola for this season – have sold Portuguese international Deco and on Tuesday two-time world player of the year Ronaldinho.
However, Hleb is their fifth signing of the summer, as he follows Malian Seydou Keita from FC Sevilla and three defenders, Spaniard Gerard Pique from Manchester United, Uruguay's Martin Caceres (Villarreal) and highly-rated Brazilian Daniel Alves also from Sevilla.
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