Barcelona close to announcing defender transfer, £12.8m fee agreed

Barcelona are close to announcing their second departure of the summer with left-back Junior Firpo close to agreeing a deal to join Leeds United in England. Jean-Clair Todibo was the first to leave the club this summer after Ligue 1 club OGC Nice exercised their right to make his loan deal permanent.

The Catalan club have made a number of first-team players available for transfer this summer as they look to raise funds. Todibo and Firpo are likely to be the first of many departures manager Ronald Koeman will oversee this summer.

Firpo was behind first choice left-back Jordi Alba in the pecking order last season, and spent a considerable amount of time on the bench. He made just 18 appearances in all competitions and is now keen to join a club where he will get regular game time.

According to Italian transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, Firpo is now close to completing a move to English Premier League side Leeds United after the two clubs agreed a fee of around €15 million (£12.8m) plus add-ons. There are just a few details to be ironed out before the deal can be confirmed.

The 24-year-old had attracted interest from a number of clubs across Europe’s top leagues. AC Milan were initially touted as his potential destination but the arrival of United into the race is said to have pushed the Italian giants out of the race.

Toni Juanmarti of Sport reported that Firpo, who had spoken Milan about joining the Serie A club, immediately stopped negotiations once United made their interest known. The English club took no time to convince Firpo about a future in the Premier League, while also agreeing to Barcelona’s demand for €15 million upfront.

Barcelona have been warned about their need to reduce the wage bill and raise funds before adding to the expenditure. The La Liga giants have thus far made four signings – Sergio Aguero, Eric Garcia, Memphis Depay and Emerson Royal – the first three are free transfers, while the fourth was by exercising a buyback clause.

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