Andreu Fontas says he has joined Celta Vigo for the chance to team up again with his former Barcelona B coach Luis Enrique.
Centre-back Fontas, 23, made his senior Barca debut in 2009 but rarely featured for the first team, while being a regular under Enrique in the blaugrana club’s youth side in 2009-10 and 2010-11.
The defender spent most of last season on loan at Real Mallorca - where he made just 11 appearances as the Islanders were relegated from La Liga with the worst defensive record in the division.
Barca confirmed the permanent move of Fontas to Celta on their official website on Thursday, in a deal which could be worth €1 million depending on objectives, and includes a buy-back option.
The Catalan player told AS that he was looking forward to rejoining Enrique and taking part in his new Celta “project”.
“I chose Celta for its project, for its way of playing, for the spirit which Luis Enrique will transmit,” Fontas said. “Celta have taken a gamble on me, and that made me decide to come and sign a three year contract.”
At his presentation as Abel Resino’s successor in Vigo on Tuesday, Enrique hinted that he might move for players he knew from Barcelona, or from his other former club Roma.
Promising youngsters including Gerard Deulofeu, Jose Angel and Rafinha Alcantara have been suggested as potential loan recruits, while midfielder Jonathan dos Santos may be available on a permanent transfer.
Another La Masia graduate potentially on the move this summer is Cristian Tello, whose €10 million release clause puts him out of reach of Celta, but not of potential suitors including Liverpool and Atletico Madrid.
According to Marca, the winger’s contract, signed just last December, mandated that his value would rise to €14 million if he played 50 games, and €18 million when he played 70 times for Barca’s first team, although he currently remains available for the cut-price figure.
Given the possibility of team-mate Thiago Alcantara leaving for just €18 million this summer due to a similarly lax clause in his contract, Camp Nou executives are thought to be looking to renegotiate with Tello’s representatives.