Arsenal FC have moved quickly to replace Thierry Henry after agreeing a deal to sign NK Dinamo Zagreb striker Eduardo da Silva for an undisclosed fee thought to be a Croatian record.
The Brazilian born 24-year-old joined Dinamo in 1998 from CBF Nova Kennedy and has since become a Croatian international. He has finalised terms for a contract until 2011 subject to a medical, and has flown to London with Dinamo sporting director Zoran Mamić.
Eduardo said: "I am excited, happy and very proud that I am going to play for such a big club. Every footballer wants to play for [FC] Barcelona, Real [Madrid CF], Manchester United [FC] or Arsenal one day and I am the same. I want to progress in my career, though it is hard to leave Dinamo after eight years. I will miss the club, the dressing room. Hopefully I will be back one day, but right now I want a new challenge." Dinamo president Mirko Barišić added: "The transfer is certainly worth some of the €24m Arsenal got for selling Henry to Barcelona."
Eduardo has top-scored in the Croatian Prva Liga for the last two seasons, registering a divisional-record 34 goals in 2006/07 as Dinamo retained their title. The previous campaign he netted 20 times, leaving him on 73 goals from 106 league games for the Maksimir club. A message on Dinamo's website read: "Eduardo, thank you for all you gave to our team. We wish you a successful career at one of the most respected clubs in the world." Eduardo also scored the first goal at Arsenal's new stadium in Dinamo's UEFA Champions League third qualifying round defeat last August and two months later struck against England in a UEFA EURO 2008™ fixture. He has eight goals from 14 internationals for Croatia. Arsenal enter the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round again in August.
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