Barcelona have signed highly rated England youth international Louie Barry on a three-year contract.
Barry’s contract with English side West Bromwich Albion expired last month and he had drawn interest from Europe’s biggest clubs, including Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, Manchester United and Juventus.
However, Barca managed to win the race for the 16-year-old’s signature, with ESPN FC revealing how they wrestled him away from PSG at the eleventh hour.
🔵🔴📝 Louie Barry s’incorpora al Barça. 🇬🇧 El davanter anglès, de 16 anys, arriba procedent del West Bromwich Albion i jugarà al Juvenil A.
— FC Barcelona – Masia (@FCBmasia) July 11, 2019
The striker had even undergone a medical in Paris last Thursday and was set to sign for the Ligue 1 side on Friday before a last-minute intervention from Barca saw him make a U-turn.
He would have earned far more in France, but the sporting project presented by Barca’s academy directors Jose Mari Bakero and Guillermo Amor convinced him, his family and his agents to change their minds at the last minute.
Barry underwent a medical at Barca’s training ground last Saturday and signed a contract later that same day, with the club confirming the deal on Thursday.
Barcelona will have to pay at least €130,000 to West Brom in training compensation for Barry, per FIFA’s regulations, although sources have indicated to ESPN FC they are willing to pay more as a goodwill gesture.
Barca are excited by Barry’s potential. He has scored 19 times in 18 appearances for England at youth level and will link up with the club’s U19 team later this montth, who play in the UEFA Youth League. He will live as the club’s La Masia residency.
Barry had been at WBA since he was six years old and the club were desperate to keep him.
They offered him a one-year scholarship followed by a two-year professional deal with the promise of fast-tracking him to the first team, but he reluctantly turned the proposal down.
He’s one of a number of England youth internationals to complete big moves this week.
Ex-West Brom teammate Marvin Rodgers has joined Manchester City, while Liverpool have edged out Europe’s elite in their bid to sign Fulham’s Harvey Elliott.