Reports: Barcelona sign Aleix Vidal, will debut in January due to sanctions

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Reports across Spain have indicated that Barcelona has completed the signing of Sevilla winger Aleix Vidal on a five-year contract.

There is a vast discrepancy in the fee to be paid, with Sport reporting a fee of about $11.1 million, while David Cartlidge of beIN Sport is reporting the fee is as high as $25.5 million.

The speedy winger brings a right-sided mindset to a squad that could use it. Luis Enrique’s formation in the Champions League final seemed impenetrable, but when Juventus did produce a solid attack, it seemed to often come down the Barcelona right with only the outgoing Dani Alves there to protect.

Vidal is a versatile option, someone who can run for days and can play both right-back and get forward in an attacking role. The 25-year-old was a vital piece of Sevilla’s Europa League title team, coming just 15 minutes shy of playing every tick of the knockout stages, with a brace against Fiorentina in the semifinals. He also made 31 appearances during the La Liga season, scoring four goals.

Because of Barcelona’s FIFA sanctions, Vidal won’t be allowed to play until the transfer ban runs out in January. However, what is often referred to as a “transfer ban” is actuallya registration ban, so while the club can deal for players, they cannot register them onto the roster until the sanctions expire. That means Vidal will have to sit for half a season with just training to keep his skills sharp, a heavy risk for a player to take. However, it also could be argued it might work in his favor, giving him time to acclimate to the new squad in a low-stress environment.