Arsenal today completed the signing of Korea Republic captain Park Chu Young from Monaco, subject to a formal registration process.
The striker has penned what is thought to be an initial two-year contract, amid reports he will be forced to return home in 2013 for a period of military service. The Gunners have signed the 26-year-old from under the noses of Lille, who were convinced they had reached an agreement for the player to join them on Saturday.
Park, who scored 25 goals in 91 Ligue 1 games for Monaco, made his Korean international debut aged 19 and played at both the 2006 and 2010 FIFA World Cups™.
He succeed Park Ji-Sung as captain of his country earlier this year following the latter's international retirement. "I am very honoured and I feel very happy to be at Arsenal," he told his new club's official website, www.arsenal.com. "It is a dream to be here and I am really proud to be an Arsenal player. Now I just want to show how good I am and prove myself.
"In my opinion, this is a great club," he went on. "Now I have to show what I can do on the pitch. I will do my best, I will never give up, I will show heart, I will give everything and I hope [the fans] will support me."
Manager Arsene Wenger, whose personal intervention reportedly convinced Park to pull out of his move to Lille, added: "We are delighted to have signed Chu. He will add true quality to our attacking forces and will be a valuable addition to the squad."
Park will wear the number nine shirt.