Barcelona And Real Betis Announce Complicated Transfer Of Emerson From Atletico Mineiro
Barcelona and Betis have both announced the signing of Atletico Mineiro right-back Emerson. Reports in both Brazil and Spain on Thursday had claimed that the 20-year-old Brazilian would join Betis on loan until the end of the season, with the Seville-based club and Barca each paying half of the €12m transfer. The Liga leaders later released a statement saying that they had signed the player, who will link up with the Catalan club on July 1. “FC Barcelona and Atletico Mineiro have reached an agreement for the transfer of Emerson Aparecida Leite de Souza Junior,” it said. “The Brazilian will be officially joining the Catalan club on 1 July 2019. “The fee has been set at €12m and the player will be signing for the next five seasons, through to 2023-24.” However, Betis also announced in a tweet that they had signed the defender, who is set to feature on loan at the Benito Villamarin for the remainder of the season before moving to Barcelona in the summer. As a non-EU player, the youngster would currently be unable to play for Barcelona anyway as all of their slots for overseas players are taken up at the moment. Emerson was watched by Barca’s sporting director Eric Abidal in action for Atletico against Gremio on November 3 as part of a scouting mission to view a number of possible targets. The defender, who has made only a handful of appearances in Brazil’s Serie A, will travel to Spain after the South American Under-20 tournament, which is currently taking place in Chile and finishes on February 10. Barca say on their website that Emerson is “strong in defence and attack”, noting that the player “has been likened to former Barca star Dani Alves”.