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Kevin-Prince Boateng has joined Barcelona in a shock move from the Italian side Sassuolo. The La Liga leaders have announced the arrival of Boateng on an initial loan deal with the option for an €8m (£7.05m) permanent move in the summer.

Barcelona confirmed the forward’s arrival shortly after Boateng told reporters in Italy that the transfer was complete. The 31-year-old will sign his contract on Tuesday before a photo session and press conference at Camp Nou.

“FC Barcelona and US Sassuolo have arrived at an agreement for the loan of the player Kevin-Prince Boateng for the remainder of the 2018/19 season,” a statement on Barcelona’s website read. “The agreement includes an €8m purchase option.”
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“Barça, I’m coming!” Boateng told Sky Sport earlier on Monday. “I’m sad to leave Sassuolo but it’s a great chance.”

Boateng also brushed off newspaper reports that he was a Real Madrid fan when growing up. “Don’t ask me about Real Madrid … it’s just the past,” he said. “I only want to focus on Barcelona, and I hope to score at the Bernabéu [in] the next Clásico.”

While at Eintracht Frankfurt last year, Boateng told Rheinische Post: “I know – without sounding arrogant – that I could’ve played at Real Madrid … but I didn’t work hard enough for that.”

The former Ghana international signed for Sassuolo on a free transfer last summer and has starred for Roberto De Zerbi’s side as they have cemented a mid-table position in Serie A.The 31-year-old has scored five goals in 15 appearances, making an impact despite missing several weeks of the season with a pelvic injury.

Barcelona are understood to have been impressed with Boateng’s performances in a false nine role in Italy. The Spanish league leaders are short of cover in attacking positions following the departures of Paco Alcácer to Borussia Dortmund and Munir El Haddadi to Sevilla.

The Camp Nou will be the most high-profile destination so far in Boateng’s nomadic career since leaving his hometown club, Hertha Berlin, to join Spurs in 2007. In an interview with the Guardian in 2017, Boateng admitted he struggled to adapt to life in London, but that he “grew up” after losing his way.

Boateng left White Hart Lane for Dortmund in 2009, where he played under Jürgen Klopp – “the best coach in the world” – before a move to a crisis‑hit Portsmouth.

The forward scored at Wembley against Spurs in an FA Cup semi-final, but ended his time in England with relegation. “It was crazy, beautiful,” Boateng said of his time at Fratton Park. “I loved playing there.”

A successful World Cup with Ghana in 2010 led to a move to Milan – via a complex loan arrangement with Genoa. Boateng has subsequently played for Schalke and Frankfurt in Germany, with his only La Liga experience coming in a single season at Las Palmas.

Last modified on Tuesday, 22 January 2019
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