Roma swoops for Barcelona teenager

The Paraguay international was close to joining the club in January and has at last sealed a move to Stadio Olimpico

Roma has confirmed the long-awaited signing of Paraguay striker Antonio Sanabria from Barcelona on a five-year deal.

The 18-year-old was widely tipped to join the Stadio Olimpico club during the January transfer window, but the deal was halted by regulations surrounding non-EU players. 

Roma is permitted to sign two players from outside the EU per season - with Gervinho and Maicon arriving last term. 

Therefore, Sanabria was bought by Roma's Serie A rival Sassuolo at the start of the year, where he featured just twice as the club narrowly avoided relegation.

A move to Roma was always on the cards, though, and Sanabria has agreed a contract with the Serie A runner-up until 2019. 

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He will become the latest close-season signing to arrive at the club after Ashley Cole, Salih Ucan, Leandro Paredes and Juan Iturbe.

Roma will pay an initial fee of 2.5 million euros for Sanabria, which could rise to €7m based on bonuses. 

The striker made his Roma debut in Thursday's friendly win over Liverpool in Boston - replacing captain Francesco Totti after an hour.