Barcelona sign Montreal Impact youngster Ballou Tabla

Ballou Tabla has become the first Montreal Impact academy product to be sold to Europe, with Barcelona snapping up the 18-year-old.

Ballou Tabla in action for Montreal Impact   -  Bongarts

Barcelona have secured the signing of Canadian youngster Ballou Tabla from Montreal Impact on an initial three-year deal.

Ballou is said to have been tracked by Barca for several months after establishing himself as an emerging talent in Major League Soccer.

The 18-year-old made 21 appearances in MLS last year, becoming the youngest player in Montreal's history and doing enough to catch the eye of Barca.

A right midfielder by trade, Ballou will join Barca's 'B' team in Spain's second tier, with the side occupying the final relegation spot in the table after 23 matches.

The Ivory Coast-born Canada Under-20 international has signed on for an initial three years with the option of another two.

His release clause is set at €25million, but that will be increased to €75m should Barca take up the option of the two-year extension.

Impact president Joey Saputo called it an "important moment" in the club's history, with Ballou the first academy product they have sold to a European side.

"This first transfer is an important moment in the history and evolution of our club," Saputo told Impact's official website.

"We take a lot of pride in seeing a young player, developed in our academy, climb the ladder all the way to the first team and realize his dream to play in Europe with a big club like Barcelona."

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