<
>

Brighton sign Alireza Jahanbakhsh from AZ Alkmaar to club-record deal

Alireza Jahanbakhsh participated at the 2018 World Cup. AP Photo/Themba Hadebe

Brighton and Hove Albion have signed winger Alireza Jahanbakhsh from Dutch side AZ Alkmaar for a club-record fee on Wednesday.

The 24-year-old Iran international signed a five-year contract and becomes the eighth new arrival of the summer at the Amex Stadium.

Financial terms were not disclosed but British media reported Brighton agreed on a deal worth £17 million ($22.36m) for Jahanbakhsh, eclipsing the £14m paid for forward Jurgen Locadia to PSV Eindhoven in January.

He has 41 caps for Iran and featured in all three of the country's group stage matches at the World Cup in Russia.

"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 in a statement.

"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 expressed his pleasure with the move, revealing he's had chances to join up in the past.

He said: "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."

Jahanbakhsh was the highest scorer in the Dutch Eredivisie last season, netting 21 goals in 33 appearances for Alkmaar.

He has 41 caps for Iran and featured in all three of the country's group stage matches at the World Cup in Russia.