Barcelona controversially signed a 28-year-old Danish forward for $19 million, and promptly slapped him with a $324 million release clause
FC Barcelona on Thursday completed one of the most unlikely signings of the European football season, buying Martin Braithwaite, a 28-year-old journeyman Danish forward from La Liga rivals Leganes.
- Barcelona was earlier in February given special emergency dispensation to sign a player outside of the transfer window after forward Ousmane Dembele was ruled out for six months with a hamstring injury.
- Barcelona signed Braithwaite by triggering a $19.4 million release clause in his Leganes contract, and promptly put a $324 million release clause on his Barcelona contract.
- Leganes has vociferously objected to the transfer, which effectively robs the club of one of its most important players without giving it the opportunity to sign a replacement.
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FC Barcelona on Thursday completed one of the most unlikely signings of the European football season, buying Martin Braithwaite, a 28-year-old journeyman Danish forward, from La Liga rivals Leganes.
Braithwaite's transfer to Barcelona has raised some eyebrows in the football world, as it represents a huge step up in prestige and quality from any other club he has ever represented. Leganes, which Braithwaite signed from, is 19th out of 20 teams in La Liga this season.
Barcelona signed Braithwaite by triggering a $19.4 million release clause in his Leganes contract, and promptly put a $324 million release clause on his Barcelona contract.
That clause is the among the highest at the Spanish club, which is known for inserting monumental release clauses in its players' contracts to dissuade approaches from other teams.
He has signed a four-year deal, which keeps him at the club until 2024.
He has previously played for clubs including Esbjerg in his native Denmark, French side Toulouse, and Middlesbrough, a second division side in England.
Braithwaite scored six goals in 24 league appearances for Leganes, and has made 39 appearances for the Denmark national team.
Barcelona was earlier in February given special emergency dispensation by Spanish football bosses to sign a player outside of the transfer window - which was open from January 1 to January 31 - after forward Ousmane Dembele was ruled out for six months with a hamstring injury.
La Liga rules allow clubs to make emergency signings outside normal transfer windows if a player is ruled out for more than five months.
Leganes has vociferously objected to the transfer which effectively robs the club of one of its most important players without giving it the opportunity to sign a replacement.
"We will raise our voice," Leganes director general Martin Ortega said, according to the BBC. "We are in a situation of enormous and serious damage.
"We cannot understand the current regulation that a club, having a long-term injury, can perform this operation unilaterally and transfer their problem to our club.
"We consider that there is a regulation that is unfair, from which Barcelona has benefited. The one who is damaged by this is Leganes."
Barcelona is currently second in the La Liga table, behind arch-rivals Real Madrid, and next play Eibar on Saturday, February 22.
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