French champions Olympique Lyonnais will spend €15m of the €38m they received for Michael Essien on the prolific Cruzeiro EC striker Fred.
The 21-year-old - one of Brazilian football's hottest prospects having scored 40 goals in his last 43 games - said of the move: "It's a big honour for me to arrive at this club and in this league." The fee will be split between Cruzeiro, Dutch side Feyenoord and the player's family, all of whom own a share in the forward, who has signed a four-year contract.
Lyon had been hoping to snare a top-class striker and had funds available following Essien's move to Chelsea FC. Chairman Jean-Michel Aulas has no doubts that Fred's arrival will make the French champions a yet more formidable outfit. "Our team is going to carry on improving and progressing," he said. "The departure of Michael brought resources to the club and despite his sale we still have the will to build the best side possible.
"Fred is a fabulous player who other great clubs like AC Milan have tried to sign. No other Brazilian has scored such a huge number of goals, 40 I believe, in one season." The fee is the second highest Lyon have lavished on a player, eclipsed only by the €19m paid to FC Barcelona to tempt another Brazilian attacker, Sonny Anderson, to the Gerland in 1999.
Meanwhile, Lyon have parted company with 23-year-old midfielder Alexandre Hauw who has accepted a one-year contract at Ligue 2 club FC Gueugnon. Hauw played three league games for Lyon three seasons ago before loan spells at FC Grand Rouen and Clermont Foot Auvergne.