Arsenal have completed the first signing ahead of next season after Nigerian midfielder Kelechi Nwakali's agent confirmed his client's move to the north London club. The move for the U17 World Cup winner has been in the pipeline since the start of the year and his long-term contract will kick in when he turns 18 in June this year.
According to The Sun, the Gunners, who registered their interest following his impressive showing in the U17 World Cup in Chile last year, have beaten off competition from Manchester City and Bayern Munich for his signature. Arsene Wenger was keen to complete the deal for the highly-rated midfielder and admitted there were a few processes to overcome before the move was finalised.
"There are of course work permit issues, medical issues, but it is progressing well. We identified him [Nwakali] after he won player of the tournament [at the under-17 World Cup], he is a top player, we will see if we can manage to get it over the line," the French manager said.
Nwakali's agent has now confirmed the move to Arsenal, with the midfielder having signed a five-year deal with the Premier League side. Apart from leading the Nigeria U17 team to victory, he was also named the player of the tournament, which bodes well for the Gunners' future, especially having beaten the big spending clubs of Europe.
"Kelechi has signed a five-year deal with Arsenal. I won't be able to mention the exact transfer fee but it is above £2m," the 17-year-old midfielder's agent said, as quoted by The Sun.
The player, who has been compared to Patrick Vieira due to his playing style is also keen to begin his work with the Gunners, and has vowed to be the 'best he can' with his target being first-team football.
"I am going to Arsenal to work and try to be the best I can. With God anything is possible, to work hard to justify my claim for first team football," Nwakali added.