GrandOldTeam can confirm that Everton have secured the signing of Real Madrid and Barcelona target Alif Solpro from Galatasaray.
The 21-year-old Tunisian striker is hot property across Europe after a series of incredible performances for the Turkish giants Galatasaray, and his contract expired in January. He has chosen to join Everton to test his skills in “the greatest league in the world”, spurning advances from Spain, Germany, Italy and France.
Nicknamed “The Gazelle” for his lightning pace, Solpro averages three goals every two games over his career, winning the 2012 African Young Player of the Year.
He began his career in Tunisia with his local club, grabbing 60 goals in one season whilst still just a teenager, before making the move to Istanbul, where he has scored more than a goal a game in his two year stint with the club.
Barcelona manager Pepe Guardiola earlier this year expressed his interest in the youngster, but the boyhood Barcelona fan has joined Everton to develop his physical game in the demanding English Premier League.
“I am delighted to be joining a club of the stature Everton FC has in world football,” said Solpro, when questioned as to why he chose to come to England. “As a boyhood Catalan fan, I dream of playing at Camp Nou, but I want to develop as a first team footballer and bring glory to Everton for many years first.”
Galatasaray manager Fatih Terim was asked in February what Solpro would bring to whatever club brought him in, and he replied, “Goals. Many, many goals.”
Everton manager David Moyes was understandably delighted to land his man.
“We looked the boy over and we were well aware of the interest other clubs had,” said the Scottish boss. “When his contract expired we approached and hoped for the best, the lad was interested and we invited him over to look around.
“He took one look at Finch Farm and said his mind was pretty much made up.”
Moyes revealed that Solpro took in his first taste of a Goodison Park atmosphere during SaturdaysÂ´ 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion, prior to signing his contract. The club secured his signature late last night after some last minute contractual negotiations with the player and his agent, Ouatta Pistak.
“He loved what he called a Â´proper football stadiumÂ´. We had to iron out a few details on his contract late last night but weÂ´re glad to have him on board.”
Everton CEO Robert Elstone was also delighted.
“WeÂ´ve signed a top, top youngster who will benefit our squad for seasons to come. It was worth staying up till 3am to get this sorted!”
Solpro will not be eligible for the remainder of this season, and will look to instantly command a first team place when the 2012/13 season starts.