Jasper Cillessen has completed his move to Barcelona, after bidding farewell to Ajax fans following the Champions League League play-off defeat to Rostov on Wednesday night (24 August). The Netherlands international has said he is ready to fight with Marc-Andre ter Stegen for the number one role at the Nou Camp, where he is expected to replace Manchester City-bound Claudio Bravo.
Barcelona technical secretary Robert Fernandez confirmed over the weekend that the club had reached an agreement in principle for Bravo to move to the Etihad Stadium, but were to make the deal official until they found a replacement.
The Spanish giants were linked with Valencia outcast Diego Alves and former Liverpool star Pepe Reina, but Cillessen was long seen as the top priority for manager Luis Enrique.
Mundo Deportivo broke the news that Barcelona had reached an agreement with Ajax to sign the Dutchman for a fee of around €13m (£11.1m, $14.7m), with the keeper receiving a five-year deal at the Nou Camp.
However, an official announcement was delayed as Ajax requested the keeper make one final appearance for the club in the Champions League play-off with Rostov, as they needed a result against the Russians to qualify for the group stages of the tournament.
Cillessen failed to help Ajax win the match, which they lost 4-1. After the game, he confirmed a switch to Barcelona was imminent. He said he was set to travel to Spain ahead of a medical and completing the deal.
He is expected to serve as back-up for Ter Stegen at Barcelona, with Luis Enrique keen to give the German the number one role following the departure of Bravo.
But Cillessen has warned Ter Stegen he is not ready to accept a secondary role.
"Competing with Ter Stegen? I like the challenge," he said, as quoted by Sport. "It's good to compete for a starting spot. Barcelona play 60 games a year, certainly there will be opportunities [for both of us]. At Ajax I also had to compete with [Kenneth] Vermeer and I won that battle. I will try to do it again."
Cillessen becomes Barcelona's fifth signing of the summer following the arrivals of Denis Suarez, Samuel Umtiti, Lucas Digne and Andre Gomes. Yet, recent reports in Spain claim he will not be the last one through the door as Valencia striker Paco Alcacer is also expected to join Luis Enrique's summer overhaul.
Cillessen appeared to jump the gun on Thursday morning, by posting a mock-up image of himself in a Barcelona shirt to his Twitter account along with confirmation he was signing for the Catalan giants. He has since deleted the tweet, along with every other message on his account.
Barcelona confirmed the transfer hours later, with the following tweet:
"FC Barcelona has decided to purchase 27 year old Dutch goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen from Ajax Amsterdam on a five-year contract. The transfer fee is a guaranteed 13 million euros plus a further two million in variables. Cillessen's buyout clause has been set at 60 million euros," the club confirmed. "The player arrived in Barcelona this morning and after taking a medical examination, he signed his new contract in private. He will be officially presented as an FC Barcelona tomorrow Friday."