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Barcelona have reached an agreement to sign Aleksandr Hleb from Arsenal and will make an official announcement in the next two days, can exclusively reveal.

The Belorussian has been waiting for the two clubs to agree a deal after he agreed personal terms and he will now fly to the Catalan capital to undergo a medical and sign for the Blaugrana.

Joan Laporta scraped through a vote of no confidence at the weekend and that has allowed his board to continue with business as usual and Hleb represents the first piece of business to be done since that fans' vote.

Arsenal recognised that they were not going to be able to hold on to the former VfB Stuttgart playmaker and it was just a matter of time before he left the club this summer.

The 27-year-old is Barça's fifth new signing of the summer and their second midfield acquisition after the arrival of Seydou Keita from Sevilla last month.

Hleb will be the first Belorussian to play for the Catalan giants and will make his debut for the club on their trip to Scotland against Hibernian on July 24.

With Ronaldinho set to leave Camp Nou, Barcelona were intent on bolstering the left side of their squad and the latest signing now rules out any chance Andrei Arshavin could have of joining the club this year.

After just one season, Hleb will team up again with former Arsenal team-mate Thierry Henry and it remains to be seen if they can strike up a better understanding than they did for the Gunners.

· Banned
15,754 Posts
-zuco- said:
How would 'exclusively' know the inner
goings on of Arsenal and Barcelona? :rolleyes:
Its true zuco ;)

Barca close on Hleb signing
Arsenal midfielder travelling to Spain to undergo medical understands Barcelona are expected to announce the signing of Arsenal midfielder Alexander Hleb in the coming days.

Hleb's future at Emirates Stadium has been uncertain since the end of last season and he has also been linked with a move to Italian champions Inter Milan.

Barcelona have held a long-standing interest in the Belarussian and he is understood to be travelling to Spain to undergo a medical after the two clubs reportedly agreed a fee.

The 27-year-old would become Barca's fifth new signing of the summer and their second midfield acquisition after the arrival of Seydou Keita from Sevilla last month.

Earlier this week, the former Stuttgart schemer admitted it would not be easy to leave Arsenal following talks with Gunners manager Arsene Wenger.

Very grateful

"I am very grateful to Arsene Wenger," Hleb told "He is the best coach of my career. And not just a coach. He is a very good man and intuitive psychologist. I very much appreciate his support,.

"I talked to him twice before the end of the season (about my future). It is also not that easy for me to leave this club, because it has become my home. I think he (Wenger) is upset, though it is better to ask him, maybe he is glad.

"In life, everything changes. I believe that there are 10 top clubs in world football, and when a couple of clubs are interested in you and offer better terms, I believe that others would have done exactly the same.

"But Arsenal is dear to me, I am grateful to Wenger for everything he has done for me.

"As an Arsenal player, I can say that there is no better club in the English Premiership."

Hleb joined Arsenal in an £11.2million deal in 2005 and he has scored 10 goals in 130 appearances for the club.
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