Bournemouth stump up £24m fee for Illia Zabarnyi as Cherries talk up Ukrainian defender’s promise
Bournemouth have bolstered their defensive options with the capture of Illia Zabarnyi in a deal that will go through as the second highest in the club’s history.
The Cherries have brought in the highly-sought-after 20-year-old from Dynamo Kyiv and has cost a huge £24m. That tops the £20m fee paid to Chelsea for Nathan Ake in summer 2017 and is second only to the £26m paid out to Levante for Jefferson Lerma in 2018.
Zabarnyi has signed a five-and-a-half-year deal at the Vitality Stadium, keeping him at the club until summer 2028.
Capped 24 times by Ukraine despite only being 20, Zabarnyi is tipped for the top. And his signing is seen as a hefty coup for Gary O’Neil’s side.
Bournemouth chief executive Neill Blake explained his signing to the club’s website.
“We are absolutely delighted to bring Illia to the club and he arrives with a burgeoning CV,” Blake said.
“Despite only being 20, he has played at the highest level for club and country and has established himself as one of the most sought-after young defenders in the world.
“We are very much looking forward to seeing him continue his development with us. We know he will be a valued and important member of our squad.”
Zabarnyi has played 50 league games for Kyiv, 21 times in the Champions League and nine times in the Europa League. He has one goal to his name – but his objective will be entirely on keeping them out for the Cherries.
He becomes their fifth signing of the window. And he joins Dango Ouattara, Darren Randolph, Antoine Semenyo and Matías Viña on the south coast.
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