Neto

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Barcelona sign Neto in goalkeeper swap with Valencia

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Barcelona says Brazilian goalkeeper Neto will sign a four-year contract with the Spanish champions.

The transfer completes a swap a day after Barcelona sold Jasper Cillessen to Valencia.

Barcelona says it is paying 26 million euros ($29.5 million) plus possibly another 9 million euros ($10.2 million) in variables for Neto. Valencia paid Barcelona 35 million euros ($40 million) for Cillessen.

Neto will replace Cillessen, who played as a backup for Marc-Andre ter Stegen in the Champions League and the Spanish league and only regularly started in the Copa del Rey.

The 29-year-old Neto helped Valencia qualify for the Champions League with a fourth-place finish for the past two seasons in Spain. He also played in Italy at Juventus as a backup to Gianluigi Buffon and at Fiorentina after starting at Brazilian club Paranaense.

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Report: Jasper Cillessen completes move to Valencia

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After spending three seasons at Barcelona mostly as a backup, goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen will now have the opportunity to earn significant playing time as the Dutchman has reportedly completed a move to Valencia, with Neto going in the opposite direction.

Hector Gomez of Valencia-centric show Tribuna VCF reports that Cillessen has completed his medical with Valencia.

According to a number of Spanish reports, including AS and Dario SPORT, the two deals will be done separately and completely at slightly different times for equal amounts of money to help out Valencia in financial fair play. Neto will move to Barcelona before the end of the fiscal year on June 30, while Cillessen’s deal will be officially completed after the start of the 2019/20 fiscal year on July 1, helping Valencia bank the $34 million transfer fee in the recently completed season before sending that money right back officially part of next season.

The 30-year-old Cillessen has been with Barcelona since joining from Ajax in 2016, making just five La Liga appearances for the club while backing up Marc-Andre ter Stegen. He did serve as the regular domestic cup goalkeeper, helping Barcelona to Copa del Rey titles in 2016/17 and 2017/18 before losing last season to Valencia in the final. Despite not playing much for Barcelona, Cillessen is still the starter for the Dutch national team and has been since mid-2017 when he won the job back from Jeroen Zoet and Maarten Stekelenburg.

Neto, meanwhile, presumably returns to a backup role he served at Juventus for two years, stuck behind Gianluigi Buffon. He was the starter for Valencia the past two seasons, helping the club to two consecutive fourth-place finishes in La Liga play.