TRANSFER OF THE YEAR

JULY 2 2007 13:44h

Eduardo da Silva in Arsenal for 24 Million Euros!

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Dinamo's ambitions in Europe have suffered a huge blow after the club accepted Arsenal's offer to buy striker Eduardo da Silva.

Dinamo's preparations are over for Eduardo da Silva. Once he has passed his medical exam tomorrow, he will sign a contract with the English club Arsenal. As we have unofficially learned, Arsenal will pay 24 million euros to Dinamo and this will be a four-year contract.    

The news was announced on the official websites of Arsenal and Dinamo. The introduction at the Gunners' site states that he is the top scorer in the Euro qualifiers at the new Emirates stadium and it also mentions the goal he scored against the England team in the qualifiers. 

Eduardo is leaving Austria today and travelling to England, accompanied by sports director Zoran Mamic. If all goes well, he will be introduced to the fans tomorrow.  

This is definitely a huge blow to Dinamo’s Euro ambitions now that they are left without their main striker, while Arsenal got an excellent replacement for Thierry Henry. 

Coach Branko Ivankovic was not too surprised by the departure of the top striker and best player. 

“We do not need to mention how much we will miss Eduardo. If he weren’t so good, there would definitely not be that many clubs asking for him. We are aware that this has been an inevitable thing that had to happen. The invitation to Arsenal and one such direct offer was simply impossible to refuse, because it prevents Dudu from achieving his sports and life’s goals. We will find a replacement among the young players at our club, who are aggressively knocking on the door of the first team and I think we will be able to make up for Dudu’s absence.” 

At first, everyone thought that our champions’ European ambitions have subsided, but people at the club do not agree with this. 

“Our ambitions are the same and we are not lowering them now. The UEFA League remains our goal and for us to stay in Europe as long as possible. We will see what will happen with the team next because, with offers like this one, it is difficult to keep them. We will find ourselves in our internal reserve and make up for every loss.” 

This is a big blow to Dinamo, but the reported compensation that Dinamo will receive will ease the pain. 

“I cannot confirm that the transfer [cost] 24 million euros because that is a business secret and, in the end, I am a coach and I am not interested in the finance. I can only say that this is the biggest transfer in Dinamo's history because, if it were smaller, we would not be doing the deal.“ 

Dinamo coach claims that he only found out about Dudu's sale in the last minute. 

“This offer arrived in the last 48 hours and the Mamic brothers flew to London to finalize the deal. I was informed about it in the end, but that’s club policy. As a coach, I cannot interfere in those affairs, but one also has to keep in mind the player himself, to whom the possibility of going to a big club opened,” the coach concluded the conversation.