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Roma signs Barcelona youngster Carles Perez


Barcelona has offloaded 21-year-old winger Carles Perez to AS Roma a day before the transfer window shuts on an initial loan deal with a mandatory option to buy this summer.

The clubs confirmed the deal on Thursday morning, with the 21-year-old eventually costing Roma $12.6 million plus another $5 million in potential add-ons at the end of the season, in addition to a $1 million loan fee to cover the next six months. According to Spanish journalist Alfredo Martinez, there is no buy-back clause for Barcelona in the new deal, which was reportedly a sticking point for the La Liga giants throughout negotiations, but they appear to have conceded in that department to push a deal over the line.

However, there was one slight discrepancy in the deal announcements. Barcelona’s release states that the option to buy is mandatory at the end of the season, while Roma contends that the option to buy is only mandatory “based on the achievement of certain sporting targets.”

Roma’s need arose on the wing after the loss of Nicolo Zaniolo to a torn ACL, with the 20-year-old star going down earlier this month.

Perez was used heavily early in the season at Barcelona, scoring a goal and assisting three more in early La Liga action, but his time significantly waned as September ended and Lionel Messi returned to full fitness. The rise of Ansu Fati also cut into Perez’s playing time as the 17-year-old became the one to benefit most from Ousmane Dembele’s struggles with injury.

Still, it’s somewhat surprising that Barcelona has offloaded an attacker given that Luis Suarez and Dembele are both on the shelf. Dembele is expected back in mid-February while Suarez is likely done for much of the season if not the entire remaining campaign.

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