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The Chilean forward has agreed to join the Gunners and will be confirmed as the club's second most expensive signing after completing the formalities of his switch from Barcelona

By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent

Alexis Sanchez will undergo a medical at Arsenal on Thursday afternoon as he puts the finishing touches to a £31.8million move from Barcelona, Goal understands.

The Gunners have finalised a deal with the Spanish giants that is the second-biggest transfer outlay in the club’s history.

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Goal understands that Sanchez will arrive at Arsenal’s London Colney headquarters at 4pm on Thursday to undertake a medical and complete the formalities of his switch from Camp Nou.

The signing is expected to be announced within the next 24 hours as Arsenal also prepare to unveil the capture of Mathieu Debuchy from Newcastle United in a deal that will cost £8m plus appearance-related add-ons. As revealed by Goal, the France international had a medical at Arsenal on Monday and the club took the official pictures that will be used to trumpet his arrival.

It is the signing of Sanchez, however, that will excite Arsenal fans, with the 25-year-old at the peak of his career and regarded as one of the most exciting forwards in the world. The Chilean had an outstanding World Cup and only Lionel Messi scored more than Sanchez’s 21 goals for Barcelona last season.

His capture is a real statement of intent from manager Arsene Wenger, who will team him up at Emirates Stadium with £40m club-record signing Mesut Ozil.

Goal revealed last Sunday that Arsenal and Barcelona had agreed a £31.8m fee for Sanchez and that the Gunners had offered a financial package that has been agreed in principle by the player and his representatives.

Arsenal chiefs, led by manager Arsene Wenger in Brazil, have been working hard over the last week on convincing the 25-year-old to choose a move to Emirates Stadium ahead of Juventus and Manchester United. Liverpool were linked strongly with Sanchez but were never regarded by Arsenal as serious rivals for his signature.

Wenger and his scouts believe Sanchez has the attributes to be developed into a centre-forward at Emirates Stadium.

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