Barcelona brought their search for a forward to an end this week when they settled on Martin Braithwaite as a replacement for the injured Ousmane Dembele.
With Dembele out for six months -- and Luis Suarez for several months -- Quique Setien insisted on signing a versatile attacker to add depth to the attack.
La Liga granted the club permission this week, agreeing that Dembele's injury was sufficiently serious to be able to bring in a replacement.
Despite the initial idea to find a classic forward, Setien convinced the club they needed a more versatile player who could also play wide if needed. Braithwaite fits that profile. Therefore, the club opted against Getafe's Angel Rodriguez, who they had already reached a deal for, and went for the Dane. There were other names on the table, but Braithwaite was the chosen one. From there, Barça got to work.
LEGANES WOULDN'T NEGOTIATE
Leganes learned on Monday night of Barça's interest. Ramon Planes, Eric Abidal's right-hand man, was in charge of contacting the club to let them know. Since then, Leganes' stance. has remained unchanged: if you want. Braithwaite, you pay his release clause. After losing striker En-Nesyri to Sevilla in January, the cannot afford to lose another forward as they fight relegation. And losing Braithwaite is a major blow for their survival hopes this season.
PAY THE CLAUSE
Therefore, there was no other option for Barça but to pay the release clause. The club plan to deposit the 18 million euros with LA Liga on Wednesday and make the deal complete. They want things finalised as. soon as possible. Setien will be able to count on the forward for Eibar on Saturday.
Meanwhile, through Eric Abidal and Ramon Planes, the club have been negotiating with the player's agent, Ali Dursun (who is also Frenkie de Jong's agent). They were in talks until late on Tuesday finalising an agreement. Braithwaite will sign a 3.5-year deal at Camp Nou, keeping him there until 2023. How he does in the next few months will dictate how long he sticks around for, though.