Barcelona have completed the signing of Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla from Major League Soccer (MLS) outfit Montreal Impact on a three-year deal with an option to extend for a further two years.
"FC Barcelona and Montreal Impact have reached an agreement for the transfer of Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla from the Quebecois outfit to Barça B," a statement read on the Catalan club's official site.
The 18-year-old will join the Barcelona B side that play in the Segunda Division (Spain's second tier league) and help them avoid relegation with the club currently in last place after 23 matches. He is unlikely to be available for their game against Granada on Saturday (27 January) but could make his debut when they take on Cordoba on 5 February.
Ballou completed his medical with the Catalan club on Thursday (25 January) before signing a three-year deal with an option of extending it for a further two years. The Abidjan-born winger has a release clause of €25m (£21.9m, $31m) in his contract, but it will rise to €75m if he extends his contract beyond three years.
Ballou came up through the youth ranks at Impact, the club he joined after moving to Canada as a child and made a breakthrough into the first-team last season. He made 21 appearances in the MLS scoring two goals and assisting as many.
The Impact winger has been called up to the Canada Under-20 squad but is yet to make an appearance. He was named Canada U20 male Player of the Year in 2016.
The MLS outfit's president Joey Saputo labelled Ballou's transfer to Barcelona an important moment in the history of the club. He believes it is a matter of pride for a player to come through their academy and realise his dream of playing for one of the biggest clubs in Europe.
"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."