Rangers FC have signed FC Barcelona midfielder Mikel Arteta for €9m.
Target around Europe
The 19-year-old, who was being courted by a number of big clubs around Europe, has agreed to join the Scottish Premier League club on a four-year deal that begins in the summer. Arteta is currently on loan at Paris Saint-Germain FC and was part of the team that lost on penalties to Rangers in the UEFA Cup third round earlier in the season.
The player is Rangers coach Alex McLeish's first signing since he took over as Dick Advocaat's replacement in December 2001. "The club has been aware of him since the UEFA tie with PSG," said McLeish. "He played excellently in both legs against Rangers and we have been monitoring him virtually since that time."
He added: "Dick and I went to his home town in San Sebastian some weeks ago to talk with his agents and I’m thrilled to have finally completed the deal. He comes from a great stable in Barcelona. I think the fans will see a class act when he pulls on a Rangers jersey next season."
PSG had the first option on the player but Rangers were the highest bidders. Arteta has been a hot prospect in Spain since playing a key role in the country's triumph in the UEFA Under-16 European Championship in 1999.
'Investing for the future'
"We are, of course, working on a number of other deals and if everything goes to plan then I feel we will have a very good base to work from," McLeish added. "I think the signing of Mikel is also an indication that we are investing for the future when you consider we already have good young players at the club like Stephen Hughes."
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