Barcelona have signed Martin Braithwaite from Leganes after paying his €18 million release clause, the La Liga champions have announced.

Barcelona have made an official statement to confirm that they have secured the services of Martin Braithwaite. The La Liga champions have paid the Danish international’s €18 million buyout clause to prise him away from Leganes, with the player signing a long-term contract till 30 June, 2024.

Martin Braithwaite initially joined Leganes from Middlesbrough on a short-term loan deal last January. However, after a successful stint with the club, his move was made permanent, with the 28-year-old joining Leganes on a permanent basis last summer.

This season, Braithwaite has been a vital cog in the club’s first-team setup as they battle to move away from the clutches of the relegation zone. With 6 goals and an assist in 24 La Liga outings, the Dane has helped Leganes win 5 points this term. However, his stint with Los Pepineros has now ended, with Barcelona swooping him away to Camp Nou.

The rules of La Liga stipulate that a club can be allowed to make an emergency signing if they are granted permission to do so. This comes into effect when a player is ruled out for more than five months. Barcelona were allowed to make such an emergency signing earlier this week, after it emerged that Ousmane Dembele was to be sidelined for six months due to a hamstring injury.

As per La Liga’s rules, the player Barcelona approached must have been a free agent or playing in Spain, which subsequently gave way to rumours linking Willian Jose with a possible move. However, a move for Real Sociedad striker did not materialise.

Set to play alongside Frenkie de Jong at Barcelona. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

Set to play alongside Frenkie de Jong at Barcelona. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

Barcelona then quickly turned their attention towards Braithwaite, with reports suggesting that they were prepared to pay the 28-year-old’s release clause to secure his services. The Blaugrana have now gone on to land the Danish international, who has signed a four-and-a-half-year deal that runs till 30 June, 2024 after his €18 million buyout clause was paid.

With Luis Suarez expected to be sidelined for much of the remainder of the season and Dembele a certain absentee till August at the very least, Braithwaite’s acquisition comes as a relief. Quique Setien can now call upon the 28-year-old apart from Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann, after having used youngster Ansu Fati extensively of late.

As for Leganes, the relegation battlers were powerless in their bid to keep hold of the Dane and will not be allowed to sign a replacement, which has kicked up furious debates over the fairness of the rules. Braithwaite, whose release clause at Barcelona has been set at €300 million, will now need to hit the ground running and it will be interesting to see if the signing proves to be a success.

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