Man Utd

Barcelona beat Man Utd to Jordi Alba

Barcelona have agreed to sign Valencia full back Jordi Alba beating Manchester United to Spain international’s signature.

The Catalan giants are set to pay 14 million euros for the Spain international and will undergo a medical and sign a five-year deal at the Nou Camp when he returns from Euro 2012.

Alba’s contract at the Mestalla expires next summer and will become Tito Villanova’s first signing since taking over the Barca reins from Pep Guardiola after he stepped down from the post last month.

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson had hoped to convince him to move to Old Trafford to replace Patrice Evra but the 23-year-old has opted to remain in his homeland.

A Barcelona statement on the club’s website read: “Barcelona announce that today they reached an agreement with Valencia for the transfer of Jordi Alba, who will undergo his medical next week.

“The cost of the operation will be 14million euros and the player will sign a contract for the next five seasons.”

Having spent seven years at the famous La Masia youth academy from 1998 to 2005 before moving Alba will be well versed in the Barca philosophy.

Following his release he joined local lower-league side Cornella for two years before signing for Valencia and was part of the reserve side that won promotion to Segunda B.

He spent the 2008/09 campaign on loan at Gimnastic Tarragona and made the breakthrough in Unai Emery’s first team the next season going on to make 74 league appearances over the next three seasons, scoring five goals.

Alba made his international bow last October in the game against Scotland going on to win 10 caps and make the left back slot his own during the European Championships.

Barca have struggled to fill the position in recent years with Eric Abidal and Maxwell filling in and see the Spaniard as the long-term solution.

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