Brighton and Hove Albion have signed Iran winger Alireza Jahanbakhsh from Dutch side AZ Alkmaar for a club-record fee.
Jahanbakhsh, 24, signed a five-year deal to become the Brighton’s eighth signing of the window. The deal is reported to have been for £17 million surpassing the £14 million paid to PSV Eindhoven in January for forward Jurgen Locadia.
“Ali is a player that we have been aware of and monitored for a few years, and his versatility will increase our attacking options within the squad,” Brighton manager Chris Hughton said.
“He can play in a wide position or central midfield attacking role, and I am now very much looking forward to working with him.”
Jahanbakhsh, who featured in all three of Iran’s World Cup games, finished as the highest scorer in the Dutch Eredivisie last season, scoring 21 goals in 33 appearances.
The 41-capped player said he was excited with the move, stating he turned down chances in the past to move to England.
“I’m really delighted to sign for the club. I was really looking forward to being here, seeing the facilities and the people here.
“It’s been a long process to get here, with some busy days deciding where to go, but I’m finally here and very happy about my decision.
“I had the opportunity to come here three years ago, and although it was the right place for me, it wasn’t the right moment for me to move to England.
“I’ve decided to come here after three years and I’m looking forward to starting training and seeing my teammates.”
Brighton have added interesting signings to their squad in the summer transfer window including Nigerian defender Leon Balogun, South African striker Percy Tau, midfielder Yves Bissouma from Lille and Deportivo La Coruna striker Florin Andone.
Brighton begin their Premier League campaign on 11 August against Watford.