Barcelona sign Montreal Impact youngster Ballou Tabla
Barcelona have secured the signing of Canadian youngster Ballou Tabla from Montreal Impact on an initial three-year deal.
Ballou is said to have been tracked by Barca for several months after establishing himself as an emerging talent in Major League Soccer.
The 18-year-old made 21 appearances in MLS last year, becoming the youngest player in Montreal's history and doing enough to catch the eye of Barca.
A right midfielder by trade, Ballou will join Barca's 'B' team in Spain's second tier, with the side occupying the final relegation spot in the table after 23 matches.
BREAKING NEWS - Agreement with @impactmontreal for transfer of Ballou Jean-Yves. 18-year-old attacking midfielder joins Barça B from the MLS club on a three-year deal with an option to two more https://t.co/7ENiTs7Kea #BarcaB #BeWelcome pic.twitter.com/HwSSfYGvn6
— FC Barcelona B (@FCBarcelonaB) January 25, 2018
The Ivory Coast-born Canada Under-20 international has signed on for an initial three years with the option of another two.
His release clause is set at €25million, but that will be increased to €75m should Barca take up the option of the two-year extension.
Impact president Joey Saputo called it an "important moment" in the club's history, with Ballou the first academy product they have sold to a European side.
"This first transfer is an important moment in the history and evolution of our club," Saputo told Impact's official website.
"We take a lot of pride in seeing a young player, developed in our academy, climb the ladder all the way to the first team and realize his dream to play in Europe with a big club like Barcelona."