Barcelona Agrees to Buy Chile Forward Sanchez From Udinese for $54 Million

European soccer champion Barcelona agreed to buy Chile forward Alexis Sanchez from Italian club Udinese for as much as 37.5 million euros ($54.1 million).

The deal includes an up-front payment of 26 million euros, Barcelona said on its website last night.

Sanchez, who will have a medical exam on July 25, will sign a five-year contract and will be the first Chilean to play for Barcelona, the Spanish champion said. He was voted as the best player in Italy’s Serie A last season, when he scored 12 goals in 31 games.

Sanchez, 22, can fill different attacking roles, Barcelona coach Josep Guardiola told reporters earlier this week.

“He can play in all three attacking positions, he shows intense defensive skills, he’s direct and from what I’ve been told, he’s a very nice kid,” Guardiola said.

Barcelona also said today it agreed to sell striker Bojan Krkic to Roma for 12 million euros.

The deal includes an obligatory buyback after the 2012-13 season that would cost Barcelona 13 million euros, the club said on its website. If Roma blocks the move, the value of the original transfer rises to 40 million euros, Barcelona said.

Krkic, 20, scored seven goals in 35 games last season, when he was used mostly used as a substitute. He was also a member of the Spain team that won the European under-21 championship last month.

Barcelona plays Croatia’s Hajduk Split tomorrow in its opening preseason match before a July 26 game against Brazilian club Internacional in Munich.

Guardiola’s squad then travels to the U.S. for a three- match tour, which begins July 30 with an exhibition game against English champion Manchester United at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland.

Barcelona is scheduled to open its Spanish league title defense at Malaga on Aug. 21.

To contact the reporters on this story: Dan Baynes in Sydney at; Matthew Craze in Santiago at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at

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