BARCELONA (Reuters) – Barcelona have agreed a deal to sign emerging Japanese talent Hiroki Abe from Kashima Antlers, the J-League club said on Friday.
The 20-year-old attacker, named the league’s best young player of 2018, was set to undergo a medical with the Spanish side and would join up with their ‘B’ side.
Financial details were not released but earlier reports said Barca would pay around 2 million euros (£1.8 million) for Abe, who made his senior international debut at the Copa America and appeared in all three of their matches.
"It was a difficult decision to leave (Kashima) mid-season, but I chose to make the move because I absolutely want to take on this new challenge at Barcelona,” Kyodo news agency quoted Abe as saying in a statement.
Barcelona also have signed France forward Antoine Griezmann from La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid after paying his 120mn euro buyout clause.
The 28-year-old World Cup winner has signed a five-year deal which includes an 800m euro release clause.
Griezmann joined Atletico from Real Sociedad in 2014 and scored 133 goals in 256 appearances.
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Copa America Brazil 2019 - Group C - Ecuador v Japan - Mineirao Stadium, Belo Horizonte, Brazil - June 24, 2019 Japan's Hiroki Abe in action with Ecuador's Arturo Mina