AS Monaco have announced the signing of Spanish wonderkid Jordi Mboula from Barcelona on a five-year deal. The Ligue 1 champions have not disclosed the details of the agreement but it is understood they have met his €3m (£2.6m, $3.3m) release clause in order to snap up the 18-year-old forward from the prestigious La Masia academy.
Mboula has been considered one of the jewels of the Barcelona academy since joining the club in 2010.
The Spain Under-19 international has been likened to Thierry Henry and earlier this year in February made headlines around Europe after scoring a Lionel Messi esque-goal during a Uefa Youth League game against Borussia Dortmund.
The La Liga giants had planned to promote the pacy forward to the Barcelona B team ahead of the 2017-2018 season as Gerard Lopez's side are on the brink of securing promotion to the Spanish second division.
However, Mboula has instead decided to move to Monaco as the Ligue 1 side are expected to give him an instant chance to prove himself in the top flight under Leonardo Jardim.
The news is a major blow for Ernesto Valverde's new side as it has been claimed that they were making every effort to tie Mboula down to a new long-term deal.
The 18-year-old forward was under contract at the Nou Camp but Barcelona were unable to prevent his departure as it is understood the Ligue 1 side met his bargain €3m release clause to complete his signing.
Monaco's vice-president Vadim Vasilyev has expressed his delight over his arrival after Mboula committed to a five-year-deal.
"Jordi Mboula has shown very good things with the youth team of FC Barcelona and AS Monaco offers him an ideal environment to continue his progress. As we have done with players such as Bernardo Silva, Fabinho and Tiemoue Bakayoko, we will support him and help him grow in our team," Vasilyev told Monaco's official website.
The Spanish Under-19 international follows in the footsteps of other youngsters who left the Barcelona academy to prove themselves at other European clubs.
Cesc Fabregas was the most famous case when he joined Arsenal in 2003 but the Catalans have since lost many other talented prospects, including Gerard Pique to Manchester United, Hector Bellerin to Arsenal or Sergi Canos to Liverpool.