Arsenal FC will sign Servette FC's teenage defender Philippe Senderos at the end of the current season.
The Swiss club have announced that the 17-year-old, who will be out of contract in the summer, will join the English Premiership champions on 1 June after an agreement was reached between the two clubs.
"Philippe Senderos will leave in July 2003 for Arsenal," Servette said in a statement. "He will be integrated into Arsène Wenger's team and will improve his education in England."
The central defender has been a regular for Servette this season. Servette president Christian Lüscher said: "A [financial] agreement was made between the three parties," adding that the deal had been agreed for three months.
"The English develop a fighting spirit in players and that is the reason I want to play at Arsenal," Senderos said on Friday. "In England football is a religion. I like the English game and I think playing in the premier league will allow me to develop better as a player."
Senderos caught the eye of Europe's leading teams after captaining Switzerland to the UEFA European Under-17 Championship title earlier this year in Denmark. He held talks with Liverpool manager Gérard Houllier in October and was invited to train with the Anfield club during the Nationalliga's winter break.
Spanish giants Real Madrid CF and FC Barcelona had also enquired about Senderos, while Germany's FC Bayern München and Dutch side PSV Eindhoven were also interested in the central defender.
©Reuters 1998-2010. All rights reserved.