Denis Suarez has become Barcelona's first official signing of the summer transfer window, with the reigning La Liga champions activating a €3.25m (£2.7m, $3.6m) buy-back clause to re-sign him from Villarreal. This follows on from last week's revelations that the Catalans will sign Samuel Utiti in a €25m deal from Lyon after the conclusion of Euro 2016.
Suarez moved to Barcelona's academy in the summer of 2013, leaving Manchester City. After a successful campaign with the Catalans' B-squad, he was loaned out to Sevilla in a two-season deal during the summer of 2014 to secure first-team experience.
His spell in Andalusia was not as productive as expected, however, so Barcelona opted to break the loan agreement with Sevilla and sell him to Villarreal. However, a buy-back clause was included so Barcelona would retain control of the player's future if he broke out as a star.
And following the 22-year-old becoming one of the sensations of La Liga in 2015-16, Barcelona have triggered that clause and lured him back to Luis Enrique's side.
"FC Barcelona have decided to exercise the buy-back clause for Denis Suárez, currently at Villarreal, which will see the player join the club for the next four seasons, with an option for a fifth depending on the number of appearances in the fourth season," the club said. "FC Barcelona have deposited 3,250,000 euros for the right to buy back the player. The buy-out clause for the player has been set at 50 million euros.
"Denis Suárez will undergo a medical on Tuesday and at 2.00pm CET he will be outside the club offices for a short photo session."
Barcelona technical director Robert Fernandez already revealed in June that the club were making efforts to re-sign Suarez, following failed attempts to recruit him in January.
However, any potential deal was called into question just days later when Sport and Mundo Deportivo revealed that Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Napoli were all after the player – with further claims saying he wanted assurances over his role at the Nou Camp before he committed to a move.
However, AS followed the story up by reporting Barcelona had reacted to these rival offers by meeting with Suarez's agent, offering the player a pay rise in order to sign with the Catalan giants.
Reports in Spain claimed that Barcelona were just waiting for 1 July to announce the deal, but last week president Josep Maria Bartomeu revealed they were yet to complete the transfer. However, Barcelona have now ended all speculation by announcing a completed deal.