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Aug 20, 2012

Alex Song completes Barca move

Alex Song has completed his move to Barcelona from Arsenal.

The Cameroon international passed his physical at Barca earlier Monday and signed his five-year contract with the La Liga power worth 19 million euros ($23.4 million).

Song, whose contract has a buy-out clause of 80 million euros ($98.5 million), will now join his new teammates for the official team presentation at the Joan Gamper Trophy at the Nou Camp on Monday night, where the Catalan club faces Sampdoria.

Song was delighted to complete his move, telling Barca TV: "Today is a very good day for me and my family. Very happy to be here, this is the best team in the world, playing at a club like Barça is something I wanted when I was young.

"I hope the team will continue to win, this is a winning team. They win everything. I will give my best on training and when I get the chance to play I will do it."

The 24-year-old becomes Barca's second major signing of the summer after the capture of Spain full-back Jordi Alba from Valencia and follows a well-worn path from Arsenal to the Nou Camp.

During Arsene Wenger's reign with the Gunners, Marc Overmars, Emmanuel Petit, Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Thierry Henry, Alexander Hleb and Cesc Fabregas all made the switch to Barca.

It remains to be seen when Song will make his debut for his new side.

After Monday's match against Sampdoria, Barca are back in action on Thursday when they host archrivals Real Madrid in the first leg of the Spanish Supercopa.

On Sunday, Barca travels to Osasuna for their second La Liga game, having started their campaign with a 5-1 victory over Real Sociedad on Sunday in what was new coach Tito Vilanova's competitive debut after replacing Pep Guardiola this summer.

Song sat out Arsenal's Barclays Premier League opener against Sunderland on Saturday amid widespread speculation he was on the verge of a move to Barca, and immediately after that match it was announced that the two clubs had agreed on terms for the transfer of the player.

Primarily a defensive midfielder, Song joined the Gunners on loan from French club Bastia in August 2005 before the move was made permanent at the end of the 2005-'06 season.

The following season he spent the second half of the campaign on loan at Charlton before returning to Arsenal and subsequently establishing himself as a key member of Wenger's squad.

In total, Song made 204 competitive appearances for Arsenal during his seven seasons at the club, scoring 10 goals.

Arsenal said in a statement on their website Monday: "Everyone at Arsenal would like to thank Alex for his contribution to the club and wish him the best of luck for the future."

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