Barcelona have officially confirmed the capture of Valencia goalkeeper Neto, who is set to arrive at the club as the new number two in a €35 million deal.
Hours after the announcement of Jasper Cillessen’s move to Valencia in a deal that is set to rake in €35 million for Barcelona, the La Liga champions have confirmed the capture of their new number two in the form of Valencia first-choice goalkeeper during the 2018-19 campaign, Neto.
The La Liga champions moved quick to fill the second-choice goalkeeper spot within the squad. Interestingly, Neto is set to cost Barcelona €35 million as well. But, the structure of the transfer fees is different, with €26 million upfront and the rest subject to the activation of bonus clauses and add-ons.
Jasper Cillessen was cramped for first-team opportunities at Barcelona. Despite winning 6 trophies during his stay at Camp Nou, the Dutch international represented the club on just 32 occasions in 3 years, letting in 25 goals with 14 clean sheets to his name. In the 32 appearances over 3 years, there were only five La Liga appearances, which highlighted the lack of opportunities for Cillessen.
Valencia had a brilliant La Liga campaign with Neto as the first-choice goalkeeper. Averaging just a goal a game, Neto had 10 league clean sheets to his name and was one of the primary reasons behind Valencia’s top four finish, securing UEFA Champions League football for the upcoming campaign.
The move does come as a bit of a surprise, considering Neto’s form in the 2018-19 campaign and his willingness to continue at the club, despite interest from clubs like Arsenal. But, the Brazilian might have agreed a move to Barcelona after the Cillessen deal knowing that the Dutch international is being brought in to replace him as the first-choice keeper.
And, if Neto is set to be a second-choice goalkeeper, the prospect of being so for Barcelona makes more sense to the Brazilian compared to Valencia. Neto is yet to win La Liga and would also love to add more trophies to his cabinet in the coming years.
Neto has agreed a four-year deal with Barcelona and will have a €200 million buyout clause in his contract. The Brazilian will hope to impress his new boss Ernesto Valverde in the pre-season, once he joins, and maybe get a better proportion of chances compared to what Cillessen was privy to during his three-year stay at the club.