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Ballou Tabla is the first Montreal Impact academy graduate to be sold to the European club, with Barcelona snapping up the 18year old Ivory Coast-born Canadian under 20 international.

Montreal announced on Thursday that Barcelona has secured the signature of Ballou Tabla on an initial three years deal with an option for additional two years for an undisclosed fee. His release clause is said to be €25million but will be increased if Barcelona chose to take up the option of the two-year extension, that will be increased to €75m should the Catalan take up the option of the two-year extension. He’s a right midfielder, Ballou will join Barcelona B team, which competes in Spanish Segunda division to further develop before joining the main team.

Barcelona has been tracking Ballou for several months after he established himself as an emerging talent in the Major League Soccer.

The 18-year-old made 21 appearances in one MLS season he played with Montreal Impact, recording two goals and two assists, in the process, becoming the youngest player in Montreal’s history.

Impact Montreal president Joey Saputo said ”it was an important moment” in the history of the club, 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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