August 4, 2019 / 11:54 AM / 13 days ago

Barcelona sign Firpo from Real Betis on five-year contract

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - La Liga Santander - FC Barcelona v Real Betis - Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain - November 11, 2018 Real Betis' Junior Firpo celebrates scoring their first goal REUTERS/Albert Gea

(Reuters) - Barcelona have signed Spanish left back Junior Firpo from Real Betis on a five-year deal for an initial transfer fee of 18 million euros (16.4 million pounds), the Spanish champions said on Sunday.

Firpo, 22, is Barcelona’s fourth recruit of the close season after the Catalans signed forward Antoine Griezmann, midfielder Frenkie De Jong and goalkeeper Neto.

“FC Barcelona and Real Betis have reached an agreement for the transfer of Junior Firpo for an amount of 18 million euros plus 12 million euros in variables,” Barcelona said in a statement.

“The player will sign a contract with the club for the next five seasons, until June 30, 2024, with a termination clause of 200 million euros.”

Firpo played 24 times in La Liga last season, scoring three goals and grabbing four assists as Betis finished 10th.

Barcelona begin their league title defence on Aug. 16 when they travel to Athletic Bilbao.

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; editing by Clare Fallon

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