Barcelona may be struggling for cash and looking to offload a number of first-team stars to register new signings and re-sign Lionel Messi, but that is not stopping them building for the future.
The Catalan club are ramping up their recruitment for the Barcelona B squad and recently announced three new additions. Yusuf Demir was the first to arrive on loan from Austrian club Rapid Vienna, and he was followed by signings of Kays Ruiz and Jordi Escobar from Paris Saint-Germain and UD Almeria respectively.
The 18-year-old Austrian has arrived on a season long loan from Rapid after impressing for the Austrian outfit's first-team since making his debut in 2019. He has scored six goals in 31 appearances and is a versatile forward that operates on the wings or as an attacking midfielder.
Barcelona confirmed that the club will pay €500,000 as a loan fee to Rapid, while also holding a non-mandatory option for them to make the deal permanent at the end of the loan spell for a fee of €10 million (£8.5m). Demir is expected to join the first-team training in the coming days after completing his medical.
Escobar was the second loan signing made by Barcelona last week. The center-forward arrived on a season long loan from Almeria, where he spent just one season, having come through the ranks at Valencia.
"FC Barcelona and UD Almeria have reached an agreement for the loan of Jordi Escobar in the 2021/22 season, with Barça getting an option to buy the player at the end of the campaign," the club said via a statement on Monday.
Escobar will be joined in the youth team by Ruiz, who arrived on a free transfer from Ligue 1 outfit PSG. The midfielder, who started his career at the famed La Masia academy, has signed a three-year deal with an option of two more with a hefty €50 million (£42.5m) release clause.
"FC Barcelona have signed Kays Ruiz for the Barça B squad. The 18 year old French-Moroccan midfielder arrives on a free transfer and signs for three seasons with an option for another two and his buy out clause is set at 50 million euros, rising to 100 million should he become a member of the first team," a club statement said.
Lyon-born Ruiz spent six seasons with Barcelona in the youth set up before moving to France to join PSG in 2015. He made seven first-team appearances for the Paris-based club during the 2020-21 season before deciding to return to the Catalan capital on a free transfer this summer.