Arsenal’s Song set for Barça move

Arsenal’s Song set for Barça move

LONDON - Reuters
Arsenal’s Song set for Barça move

A file photo dated 16 February 2011 shows Arsenal’s Alex Song (C) being challenged by Barcelona’s Sergio Busquets (L) and Xavi (R) during their UEFA Champions League round of 16 soccer match at the Emirates Stadium in London, Britain. EPA photo

Arsenal has agreed terms with Barcelona to sell Cameroon international midfielder Alex Song to the Spanish side for 19 million euros ($23.4 million), the Premier League club said.

Song, 24, will travel to Spain to agree personal terms and have a medical before finalizing the move, Arsenal said on its website).

Last season’s La Liga runner-up Barça said the player would sign a five-year contract and have a release clause of 80 million euros.

Song will take his medical today and is expected be presented along with the rest of the Barça squad in a friendly against Sampdoria at the Nou Camp, the Catalan side said.

He is expected to provide cover in the centre of defense, a priority new coach Tito Vilanova laid out when he stepped up from assistant to replace Pep Guardiola last season.

Barça has struggled at the back recently with captain Carles Puyol, who is 34, struggling with a string of injuries, and Eric Abidal out as he recovers from a liver transplant. Sergio Busquets and Javier Mascherano have dropped back from midfield to play alongside Gerard Pique at the back, and Song will provide further options to fulfill a similar role. He is Barça’s second major signing of the closed season after Spain full back Jordi Alba from Valencia for 14 million euros.

Arsenal signed Song from French side Bastia in August 2005. He made 205 appearances for the Londoners, scoring 10 goals.