Manchester United are set to confirm the signing of teenage sensation Marc Jurado from Barcelona.
The sixteen-year-old has been with the Blaugranas since he was seven but has refused several contract offers from the club and left yesterday.
According to ESPN, ‘Barca offered him a three-year deal that would have been worth €100,000 [£90,000] annually by the end of the contract, with a €200,000 [£180,000] bonus included if he made his debut for the B team.’
Jurado announced his departure from the Catalan club on Instagram, saying:
‘It is never easy to leave a team that has given me everything.
‘FC Barcelona has been my second home, my second family, where I have developed not just as a player but as a person.
‘Everything has a beginning and an end. My time, after reflecting with my family, has arrived. I am leaving behind unforgettable memories that I will always carry with me.’
It is a fantastic coup for the Red Devils as Jurado is regarded as one of the best players in the world in his age group.
Barcelona are in disarray at the moment with boardroom wrangles and financial problems. There have also been problems on the pitch, with a string of bad results looking likely to cost them the title and rumours of a breach of trust between several players, notably Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann, and the current head coach Quique Setien.
It is unclear as to whether that has affected Jurado’s decision to leave but the toxic atmosphere inside the club will certainly not have encouraged him to stay.
There is a sense of déjà vu about the transfer. In 2004 Sir Alex Ferguson signed another defender under similar circumstances from Barcelona, Gerard Pique, when he was 17. United will hope that Jurado will stay at Old Trafford for longer than the World Cup winner, who lasted just four years before returning to Catalonia.
As for Jurado, United will reportedly have to pay Barcelona €1.5 million (£1.36m) compensation for his training rights.
There is no official confirmation yet from United’s end about the transfer but it is expected to go through within the next 48 hours.
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