Barcelona have announced the signing of 17-year-old defender Jorge Cuenca as the latest step in the Catalans' b-team revamp. Real Madrid were also reportedly interested in the promising centre-back but Los Blancos' arch-enemies have won the race after paying €400,000 (£354,000, $462,000) to lure him away from Alcorcon.
The La Liga giants have had a surprising quiet transfer window so far following a disappointing campaign under Luis Enrique, with Real Madrid winning both La Liga and the Champions League.
Ernesto Valverde was expected to conduct a major overhaul this summer but his only big-name signing to date has been Nelson Semedo from Benfica, in a deal worth €30m plus add-ons.
Gerard Deulofeu has also returned to the Nou Camp from Everton, while earlier in the summer Barcelona also activated an option to make Marlon Santos' loan move from Fluminense permanent after the Brazilian centre-back impressed with the second team during the 2016-17 campaign.
The Catalans have instead looked to the future of the club, having already made six signings to bolster the second team with the arrivals of Antony Lozano, Samu Araújo, Íñigo Ruiz de Galarreta, Moha, Vitinho and Cuenca.
The club announced the signing of their latest recruit on Tuesday (18 July) after paying €400,000 for his signature.
"Jorge Cuenca becomes Barça B's sixth signing ahead of the 2017/18 season. The player arrives from Alcorcón and he signed for FC Barcelona at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper offices accompanied by Silvio Elías, the director responsible for professional youth football, and Josep Segura, the sports manager of the football area. Cuenca has signed a two-year contract with the Club with an optional three more and his buy-out clause is of €30 million. Barça have paid €400,000 for his signature," Barcelona have confirmed through an official statement.
"Jorge Cuenca, born on 17 November 1999, is a left-sided centre-back who came through the Alcorcón academy and made five Division 2A appearances during the 2016/17 season. He likes to join the attack, closes down space well, is a good passer of the ball, has character and reads the game well."
Mundo Deportivo claims Real Madrid were also monitoring the promising defender but Barcelona have "beaten" Los Blancos for his signature.
The news from Mundo Deportivo might be a relief for Barcelona fans following a summer in which they have seen targets like Dani Ceballos, Theo Hernandes and Vinicius Junior join Real Madrid.