Arsenal FC can confirm the arrival of French international William Gallas on a long-term deal plus £5 million from Chelsea Football Club in exchange for Arsenal defender Ashley Cole.
Defender Gallas (29) joins from Chelsea where he notched up a League and League Cup 'double' in 2005 and a successive Premiership title in 2006. With 213 appearances and 12 goals for the London side, last season's efforts cemented the defender's place in the PFA Premiership Team of the Year.
William has a wealth of experience at international level, and was a fundamental member of the French national side that reached this summer's World Cup Final, playing in all seven matches. With a total of 47 appearances and one goal Gallas is a mainstay for Les Bleus.
William Gallas upon his move to Arsenal said: "I am delighted to be joining Arsenal, and am looking forward to the new challenges that the Club and coming seasons hold. Arsenal has a great history and sense of tradition, and combined with the fantastic facilities offers me a great move and chance to build on my career and enjoy what will hopefully be further successes."
Ashley Cole moves to Chelsea after moving up through Arsenal's youth ranks, having made his first team debut in November 1999 against Middlesbrough in the League Cup. During his time with the Gunners, he helped the Club win five major trophies including the Premiership title in 2004 when the team remained unbeaten for the entire season.
Ashley also made his International debut in March 2001 shortly after making the left back spot his own at Arsenal. He was also awarded with Carling Young Player of the Year in 2001.
Manager, Arsène Wenger said: "We welcome William to the Club while saying goodbye to Ashley Cole, a player that has given a lot for us over a number of years. With Gallas' arrival we welcome an accomplished and versatile defender who can perform anywhere across the back line, and I am an admirer of his pace and strength. We hope that he helps us achieve our objectives on the pitch in the coming season and beyond.
"Upon Ashley's departure I would like to thank him on behalf of the team and everyone connected with the Club for his contribution to our success over recent years, Ashley has always played with his heart for Arsenal.
"I remember giving him his debut nearly seven years ago and he grabbed the opportunity. He had a strong desire to succeed and ultimately it was that determination that sees him leave this Club. Ashley has grown up with Arsenal and given time, will hopefully appreciate what the Club has given him. I feel the future is bright for this team and look forward to seeing it challenge for honours."
William Gallas will wear the number ten shirt this season.
Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 1 Sep 2006