London: Aston Villa have signed 19-year-old winger Adama Traore from European champions Barcelona on a five-year contract, the two clubs announced on Friday.
Barcelona said that Villa would pay an initial 10 million euros ($11.1m, Â£7.1m), potentially rising to 12 million euros, and that the Catalan club would retain a buy-back option for the next three years. "He's someone I have been tracking for a long time," Villa manager Tim Sherwood told the club website after Traore became his 10th signing of the transfer window.
"He's physically a man, and he has been for some time. He's a big powerful boy, very quick, dynamic and a maverick-type player. Those players are few and far between. "We're delighted he has chosen Villa to continue his development." Born in Spain to Malian parents, Traore joined Barcelona's youth set-up at the age of eight and made four senior appearances for the club, scoring one goal. He has been capped by Spain at youth level.
"It's an honour for me to come here," Traore said. "It's a club that showed interest in me from the first moment and made me feel important in terms of their project. "I have spoken to the manager and have a very good impression of him and what he wants from me. All this have made this club my top attraction. "I would also like to express my gratitude to everyone at FC Barcelona for helping me develop as a player and as a person."