THE signing of Kevin-Prince Boateng to Barcelona has come as an initial shock – though the loan deal for the experienced forward makes financial and professional sense.
Boateng arrives from Serie A as Sassuolo have loaned out the 31-year-old with a £7million purchase offer in place.
Nou Camp chiefs acted on the deal to bolster their attack for a reasonable fee.
Here, SunSport delve into the five key reasons why Barcelona decided to sign Boateng.
Barca wanted a player ‘with personality’
Nou Camp chiefs were looking for a player who can hit the ground running, and not take time to settle in.
Barcelona is now the tenth club the Ghanaian has joined in nine years.
And he is familiar with La Liga – the fifth league he has played in – having spent a year at Las Palmas.
Adapting to change is not something Boateng is unfamiliar with, and this is what Barcelona are looking for.
Boateng was deemed as someone experienced enough to understand he is being drafted in as a utility man – who can perform equally as well coming off the bench or making a rare start.
The club want flexibility, so went for a loan deal with the option to make it permanent
Brazilian duo Philippe Coutinho and Malcom have failed to meet expectations despite costing a combined £181million.
Due to Barca’s financial situation, making another wasted signing would be calamitous – so loaning Boateng with the option to buy is the safest option.
That way, they can access Boateng’s form and impact in the side, and make a decision afterwards.
Barcelona are also looking to bring in Frenkie de Jong from Ajax, so if the transfer is available they will need to have the money reserved.
They couldn’t get Antoine Griezmann last summer
Last season Barca chiefs were convinced Antoine Griezmann would arrive at the Nou Camp in an £88m deal – until he make the shock announcement in a documentary produced by Gerard Pique that he would be staying at Atletico Madrid.
With Barca shocked by Griezmann’s snub, they went in search of a man to provide back-up to Luis Suarez.
They settled for Boateng, who comes in as a much cheaper option.
They couldn’t afford Alvaro Morata or Cristian Stuani this winter
Boateng wasn’t Barca’s No1 choice, nor was he even their second – Alvaro Morata or Cristian Stuani were the names presented.
Chelsea wantaway Morata was offered to the Spanish champions on loan, though they couldn’t afford his wages.
Girona striker Stuani, for just £13m, was also a priority for Barca but they couldn’t muster up a deal they deemed financially suitable.
Although the riskier, Boateng’s arrival comes as the cheaper and easier deal to secure than Morata or Stuani.
Barcelona have to balance the books
Barcelona are looking to shorten the amount they shed out on wages, and they began to do so this summer as £24.5m has been cut.
The Spanish champions have gone from spending 70 percent of their budget on salaries last to 66 percent, but they still need to improve.