Barcelona sign Montreal Impact youngster Ballou Tabla

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The 18-year-old has become the first Impact academy product to be sold to Europe, with Barca snapping up the Ivorian-Canadian

Barcelona have secured the signing of Canadian youngster Ballou Jean-Yves 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 Barcelona B 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 €25 million, but that will be increased to €75m should Barca take up the option of the two-year extension.

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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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