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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 January, 2004, 23:08 GMT
Reyes passes Arsenal medical
Jose Antonio Reyes
Born: 1 September, 1983
Sevilla debut: 30 January, 2000 vs Real Zaragoza
First Sevilla goal: 16 September, 2001 vs Espanyol
Spain debut: 6 September, 2003 vs Portugal
First Spain goal: 11 October, 2003 vs Armenia
Jose Antonio Reyes has passed his medical at Arsenal but is still waiting for international clearance to play for the Premiership leaders.

The 20-year-old winger was signed from Sevilla in a four-and-a-half-year deal worth up to 17.5m.

The Gunners revealed on Wednesday they would pay an initial 10.5m, with 7m to follow depending on appearances.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger told Arsenal's official website: "Jose Reyes is a fantastic signing."

Reyes has been linked with the London club since the summer, but Arsenal reportedly had a bid turned down in December.

Wenger, after finally luring the Spaniard for a club record fee, said: "He is a very talented young player, who can play in midfield or as a supporting striker.

"He can play on the left or on the right, in fact, anywhere as an offensive player. Jose will be a great asset to our squad."

Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood has dismissed speculation that the arrival of the Spanish youngster will lead to Thierry Henry being shown the Highbury door.

"No way is he going, to Real Madrid or anywhere else," Hill-Wood vowed.

"That is definite and I don't think he wants to go. He is very well paid by us and, though he could maybe earn more in Madrid, he loves both the club and his lifestyle here."

Hill-Wood also insisted the outlay of funds would not impact upon the plans to move stadium.

"We have an amount for transfer fees in our budget and that won't affect the new ground," he said.

Sevilla president Jose Maria del Nido described the sale of Reyes as "the saddest thing we've ever had to do", but said "this offer was out of this world."

"We have made a pact of confidentiality on the price and we cannot say.

"But I can tell you that it is greater than any other offer. It's more than was paid by Bayern for Roy Makaay, more than Barcelona paid for Ronaldinho.

"It is even more than Real Madrid paid for David Beckham."

Reyes added: "I'm the happiest man and the saddest man in the world at the same time.

"I'm leaving the best team in Spain to join the best team in England.

"Without a doubt this is a step forward in my career but I'm not forgetting that I'm leaving the club that I love with all my heart."

Reyes, who was under contract with Sevilla until 2010, made his full international debut for Spain as a substitute in September.

The left-sided player has made two further international appearances and scored 21 goals in 84 Primera Liga games.

Reyes, who has trained with Sevilla's first-team since he was 15, enjoyed arguably his best league performance in the 4-1 defeat of Real Madrid earlier this season.

Reyes will also be eligible for Champions League football this season.

BBC Sport's Simon Foat
"Reyes is regarded as one of the best young talents in Spain"

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