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Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Latics swoop for Kone from Levante

Dermot Corrigan, Spain Correspondent

Levante striker Arouna Kone is to join Premier League side Wigan in a deal worth a reported €3.5 million.

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Kone, 28, scored 15 Primera Division goals last season as both player and club completed their best ever La Liga campaigns.

The move was confirmed by Levante on their official website on Tuesday, with a statement saying: "Levante UD and Wigan Athletic have reached an agreement this afternoon to transfer Arouna Koné to the English club.

"The levantine outfit wish to thank the Ivorian international for his professionalism and his commitment defending the azulgrana shirt, and wish him the best of luck in the next stage of his career."

Wigan later confirmed the news, saying on their official website: "Wigan Athletic are delighted to announce the signing of Ivory Coast striker Arouna Kone on a three-year-deal after completing his move from La Liga side Levante for an undisclosed fee.

"The 28-year-old becomes Roberto Martinez's fourth signing of the summer transfer window and is on the back of a prolific season in Spain's top flight, scoring 15 goals to finish as the division's joint-ninth top scorer.

"At international level the striker has made 35 appearances for Ivory Coast and scored nine goals, making his debut in 2004 against Tunisia.''

The Ivory Coast international had been on loan from Spanish rivals Sevilla, but the Valencia-based outfit exercised an option to complete a purchase for an undisclosed fee last June.

Spanish press reports say an agreement was then put in place which would allow Kone to move to the Premier League should a club make a sufficient offer.

Levante, who face Scottish Premier League side Motherwell in the Europa League later this month, have already lined up a replacement with free agent and Greek international Theofanis Gekas scheduled for a medical Wednesday morning.

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