Barcelona have reportedly pipped PSG and other top European clubs to the signature of West Bromwich Albion prodigy Louie Barry.
The poaching season is in full effect in European football, with top clubs looking to bring in the very best of young talent from all around the continent. The relatively feeble clubs are often the target, as has panned out here, with West Bromwich Albion losing Louie Barry to Barcelona, who pipped PSG to the youngster, according to The Sun.
The report iterates that PSG were primed to land Barry, who even completed a medical at the French capital, only for Barcelona to swoop in and hijack the move. The real losers of the deal though, have been West Bromwich Albion, who have lost one of their best talents over the recent years and have only received £235,000 to the tune of compensation.
Louie Barry has been hailed as a generational talent at West Brom. The player was a regular for the Under-18 side in the past season and has accumulated a fair number of caps for the England Under-15s as well. Interestingly, the youngster has represented both England and Republic of Ireland at different age groups so far, which leaves his ultimate nationality representation wide open.
Barça have completed the signing of Louie Barry, a highly rated 16 year old England youth international. He completed his medical for PSG, but Barça were able to convince him in the dying moments. Barça will pay at least €130,000; he’ll join the U19 side. [espn] pic.twitter.com/vWoT0Qe0Ua
— barcacentre (@barcacentre) July 7, 2019
West Bromwich Albion were aware of the interest that Barry’s potential had started to gather and were desperate to hold onto their star kid. But, their inability to gain promotion to the Premier League might have played an important role in persuading Barry to look elsewhere.
The lack of Premier League football could be the reason for first-team star and academy graduate Rekeem Harper’s refusal to sign a new deal, which means West Brom are set to lose another academy graduate in the same window.
Barcelona though, would be elated with landing a player of Barry’s potential. La Masia had recently become the target of poaching for other top clubs, with reasons such as lack of definitive pathway to the first-team and comparitively low financial package cited by the young departures and their camp.
The arrival of Louie Barry will not only be a signal that Barcelona can adequately replace the outgoings but also a validation that they are willing to pull out their cheque books for the young stars, unlike in the recent past.