Brighton & Hove Albion have smashed their transfer record for a third time in the summer window after confirming the arrival of Colombia international Jose Izquierdo from Club Brugge, subject to international clearance
The club's head of recruitment, Paul Winstanley, travelled to Bruges at the beginning of August in view of agreeing a deal with the club, the player and his representatives, before Albion took to social media to announce the deal.
A transfer had been reliant on a medical, which the winger passed before the Seagulls' opening Premier League game against Manchester City, and a work permit has now been granted, with just international clearance to be received.
It is thought the fee for Izquierdo is around £13.5 million, rising to £16m.
“Jose is someone we have been aware of for some time and has been one of the standout players in the Belgian league over the past three years," manager Chris Hughton said.
“He’s been an exciting player for Club Brugge and in the season he helped the club win the title, in 2015-16, he was also Belgium’s Player of the Year.
"Jose has good experience with almost 250 senior games in both Colombia and Belgium and has played in the Europa League, Champions League and international football, having made his debut for his national team this summer."
THE CLUBS THAT WANTED IZQUIERDO
Izquierdo has been courted by a number of clubs from across Europe, with Serie A side Roma said to be interested in acquiring the winger's services following Mohamed Salah's departure to Liverpool.
Middlesbrough were also linked with a move, though the substantial asking price was not a realistic one for Boro, who were relegated to the Championship at the end of last season.
JOSE IZQUIERDO CAREER STATS
|Jupiler Pro League||58||23||11||8||1||3,937|
|Liga Águila I||28||7||1||-||1,696|
|Jupiler Pro League PlayOff I||26||11||6||3||1,925|
|Liga Águila II||18||3||1||1||1,016|
|Beker van Belgie||13||2||1||1||846|
|UEFA Champions League||4||1||-||-||260|
|UEFA Champions League Qualification||3||-||-||-||78|
|Fase Final Liga Postobon I||2||-||1||-||108|
IZQUIERDO'S CAREER TO DATE
Izquierdo began playing football in Colombia as a goalkeeper, before moving into an attacking role and starting his professional career with hometown club Deportivo Pereira.
The 5'7 winger enjoyed a successful four years at the Risaralda club on a personal level, but suffered relegation into the Colombian second division in his second season.
Izquierdo moved to Once Caldas in 2013, with whom he spent two seasons and scored 13 goals, before leaving for Club Brugge ahead of the 2014-15 campaign.
In his first season with the club, Izquierdo struck 13 Belgian Pro League goals and guided them to the quarter-final stage of the Europa League.
Izquierdo has made two senior appearances for Colombia to date, making his international debut as a substitute against Spain in June.
The 25-year-old scored his first Colombia goal against Cameroon a week later, again being used as a substitute.
So far, Izquierdo has won the Belgian first division, the Belgian Cup, the Belgian Super Cup and was named Belgian’s Player of the Year award for the 2015-16 season.
BRIGHTON SUMMER SIGNINGS
Albion chairman Tony Bloom has sanctioned transfers totalling around £40 million so far this summer as the club structure their Premier League survival bid.
Pascal Gross and Markus Suttner arrived from relegated Bundesliga outfit Ingolstadt at a price of £3m each, with Izzy Brown arriving on a season-long loan from Chelsea.