Barcelona have signed Portugal star Andre Gomes from Valencia, the Liga club have announced.
"FC Barcelona and Valencia CF have reached an agreement that will bring André Gomes to the Catalan capital. Gomes will formalise the deal and be officially presented as a new FC Barcelona player next week," read a statement on Barcelona's website.
"The 22-year-old Portuguese midfielder thus becomes the fourth reinforcement for Barça ahead of the 2016/17 season following the additions of Galician midfielder Denis Suárez and French defenders Samuel Umtiti and Lucas Digne."
Barcelona have not revealed any more details about the transfer but Marca reported that Gomes will sign a five-year deal and join the Spanish champions for €50 million (£42m).
Gomes, under contract with Valencia until June 2020, started 27 league games for the club in the 2015-16 campaign.
Valencia's Andre Gomes (front) and Sevilla's Grzegorz Krychowiak fight for the ball
Image credit: Reuters
Real Madrid snubbed
This is not just an ordinary transfer coup for Barcelona: Gomes was also on the shortlist of bitter rivals Real Madrid.
Madrid-based daily As says Gomes was "one of the main summer targets for [Real Madrid president] Florentino Pérez." The paper adds:
Real Madrid had been in discussions with Valencia and were seen as favourites to secure the signing with a money plus player loan deal - with Nacho, Kovacic, Asensio and Jesé all in the talks - but with this not being played out quickly enough, Los Ché turned to the Catalan club.
Andre Gomes will not be playing at Valencia or Real Madrid next season, with Barcelona swooping in to shore up the Portuguese midfielder's services at the last minute, dealing a blow to their arch rivals in the process.
Portugal's Andre Gomes during the news conference.
Image credit: Reuters
A transfer fee of £42m instinctively feels like a lot of money but in the current climate it is not ridiculous. Paul Pogba is about to command a fee in excess of double that for his move to Manchester United and Barcelona have secured one of Europe's most promising midfield talents.
Gomes is a European champion and showed in flashes in France that he is a player of some potential. His path to the first-team at Barcelona is likely to be blocked initially by the midfield three of Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic - not to mention Arda Turan, Sergi Roberto and the returning Denis Suarez