Barcelona have completed a surprise move for former AC Milan attacking midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng, signing him on an initial loan deal until the end of the season.
The 31-year-old returns to LaLiga for his second spell after impressing at Las Palmas during the 2016-17 campaign, and Barca can purchase him outright for a reported €8million before the loan ends.
Barca’s move for the former Ghana international comes as a shock given the midfielder’s stature in the game, having represented fairly modest clubs in Las Palmas, Eintracht Frankfurt and Sassuolo over the last few years.
Ernesto Valverde had been hoping for attacking reinforcements in January, particularly after seeing Paco Alcacer depart for Borussia Dortmund in the previous transfer window and Munir El Haddadi join Sevilla this month.
Several loan options had been mooted, with Carlos Vela of LAFC, Monaco’s Radamel Falcao and Chelsea star Willian all linked.
But Boateng represents even more of a left-field move than those names.
Boateng was particularly highly rated during the earlier days of his career, impressing at Hertha Berlin and earning a move to Tottenham, but things never worked out in London.
A year at Portsmouth helped him earn a transfer to Milan and he caught the eye on occasion in Serie A, helping them win the title in 2010-11.
Despite often showing flashes of his ability, Boateng is generally regarded to have never quite fulfilled the promise he showed as a teenager at Hertha.
However, in joining Barca he has arguably secured the move of his career and will offer competition in midfield and in the final third, as Valverde’s men fight on three fronts.
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