Barcelona sign Martin Braithwaite from Leganes to lead their line

Barcelona have confirmed the signing of Leganes forward Martin Braithwaite on a four-and-a-half-year deal, after paying the Dane’s €18m release clause. 

Following the injuries to Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez, Barca applied for special dispension to sign a Spain-based player or free agent outside of the transfer window. 

This appeal was granted by the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) on Monday and the club moved quickly to activate Braithwaite’s release clause, with the signing announced on Thursday morning by Barcelona’s official website.

The Norwegian, who had top-scored for Leganes this season with eight goals  in all competitions, has curiously been given a long-term deal at Camp Nou until the summer of 2024, with a buyout clause set at €300m. 

His former club though will have a tough time battling relegation having already lost another forward, Youssef En-Nesyri to Sevilla last month. 

Martin Braithwaite (Image Courtesy: Barca Blaugranes)

Javier Aguirre’s side are currently two points adrift of safety in 19th place. Braithwaite began his career in his native Norway with Esbjerg before moving to Toulouse in 2013. 

He spent four years in France after which he earned a £9 transfer to Middlesborough, scoring nine goals in an underwhelming two-season spell at the Riverside Stadium. 

He moved to Leganes this summer and now will be playing alongside Lionel Messi at Camp Nou. He is also in contention for the Barcelona squad that take on Eibar on Saturday. 

The player could also make his Champions League debut in just under week’s time when his side travels to the Stadio San Paolo to take on Napoli. 

Leganes, meanwhile have also announced that they too will seek special dispensation to sign a replacement outside of the normal transfer window, after being left in a ‘situation of enormous damage’ according to director Martin Ortega.  

He said, “We want to raise our voices. We cannot understand the current regulation that a club, having a long-term injury can perform this operation unilaterally and transfer its problem to another club."

"We are excited about the possibility that the FA will allow us to sign a player. We will fight to make this possible.” 

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