Chelsea signs Batshuayi, Arsenal strikes deal for Asano

July 3, 2016 GMT

LONDON (AP) — Chelsea signed Belgium striker Michy Batshuayi and Arsenal struck a deal to bring in Japan forward Takuma Asano as Premier League clubs remained active early in Europe’s summer transfer window.

Batshuayi joined from Marseille on a five-year deal and reportedly cost Chelsea 33 million pounds ($44 million).

″(Fellow Belgium players) Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois have told me many good things about the club,” said Batshuayi, who played at the European Championship in France, “and with Antonio Conte coming in (as coach), it’s an exciting time to become a Chelsea player.”

Arsenal said the 21-year-old Asano will complete his move from J-League club Sanfrecce Hiroshima once he has undertaken a medical examination and the regulatory processes are completed.

Given Asano has only played five times for Japan’s national team, there could be an initial challenge gaining a British work permit.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said Asano is “very much one for the future” and “we look forward to him developing over the next couple of years.”

Arsenal last season finished 10 points behind champion Leicester, which announced the signing of French midfielder Nampalys Mendy on Sunday.

The 24-year-old Mendy joined from Nice on a four-year deal to become Leicester’s third offseason signing.

The transfer window opened Friday, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic joining Manchester United in the highest-profile signing so far.