Da Silva could have cost Gunners £16m
Arsenal have signed Croatia striker Eduardo da Silva from Dinamo Zagreb for an undisclosed fee, which it is claimed could be as much as the £16m that the Gunners received for Thierry Henry. The 24-year-old was born in Brazil, but having moved to Europe at the age of 15, he took Croatian nationality in 2002. The striker - who has agreed a four-year deal - scored the first competitive goal at Emirates Stadium when the Gunners beat Dinamo during last season's Champions League third qualifying round in late August.
Dinamo's fee for the move, which is subject to a medical and comes a week after France striker Thierry Henry completed his transfer from Arsenal to Barcelona, was not disclosed. Croatian media put the fee at 24 million euros, exactly the sum Arsenal agreed with Barcelona for their former captain Henry. Dinamo Zagreb sport director Zoran Mamic told Croatian state radio he could not disclose the figure, but said it was a record offer that the club could not turn down. 'This is the biggest ever transfer in Croatian soccer, inluding the period of the former Yugoslavia,' he said.Da Silva has scored seven goals in 12 appearances for Croatia - including one against England during the 2-0 Euro 2008 qualifier victory in Zagreb last October. The deal for da Silva, which is subject to a medical, is the Gunners' first move in the transfer market since the £16million sale of captain Thierry Henry to Barcelona. Manager Arsene Wenger had been keen to recruit a proven goalscorer, with Newcastle duo Obafemi Martins and Michael Owen reported to be on his shopping list. However, the Gunners boss is now likely to turn his attentions to defensive cover following the signing of da Silva, who finished the Croatian season as their top scorer with a record 34 goals. Wenger, who has been recharging his batteries at an Italian health resort ahead of the pre-season schedule, is now expected to step up his interest in Auxerre full-back Bakary Sagna.