Barcelona have announced they are set to sign Brazilian defender Douglas Pereira, subject to a medical. The 24-year-old, a possible successor to Dani Alves, will move on a five year deal five year deal for €4 million.
The deal was announced on Barcelona’s official website, which stated:
"FC Barcelona and Sao Paulo FC have reached an agreement in principle for the transfer of the player Douglas Pereira," read a statement on the Liga side's official website.
"The cost of operation is €4 million plus €1.5m in variables that are dependent upon games played.
"Douglas will travel to Barcelona later this week to undergo a medical. He will sign a contract with FC Barcelona for the next five seasons."
Many fans have been quick to voice their reticence to this particular transfer, as questions have arisen over his quality and the legitimacy of the deal. Fans oblivious to his qualities turned to Sao Paolo fans, who were equally quizzical as to why the Spanish giants have swooped for him.
He has made a combined 202 appearances for Goias and Sao Paolo, scoring six times. At 24-years-old, the full-back is yet to be fully capped at international level, having only played for the U-20 side.
The fact that the Brazilian was owned by the same sports agent company (target) as failed Barcelona acquisitions Keirrison and Henrique has also struck fear into the hearts of Blaugranes fans.
The surprise move for Douglas does not become any easier to swallow once Barca fans realise that Juan Cuadrado was the alternative, and would have made the move if Fiorentina lowered their asking price.
Barcelona are well stocked in the right-back position, with both Dani Alves and Martin Montoya in the side. While the former is widely expected to leave the Camp Nou, Douglas insists he is prepared to battle the two for a starting spot and is not afraid of the competition.
"No, I'm not scared. They're both great players, especially Alves, who's world class and represents our national team. Right now, I'm just concerned about doing my job, working hard and trying my best. Luis Enrique will choose who's playing. I just want things to be natural."
Perhaps Enrique hopes the full-back can learn from his compatriot during his time at the Camp Nou. The stockpiling of players may also be a reaction to the rejection of Barcelona’s appeal against their transfer ban. The ban, which stops them from all signing players until January 2016, will come into force at the end of the current transfer window.
Douglas could cement a first team place by 2016 if he flourishes under the guidance of Luis Enrique. Moreover, the risk in the deal is relatively low, considering a transfer price of a mere €4 million. Douglas’ lack of profile could prove to be beneficial. He has no lofty expectations to live up to, and thus has the potential to wow the Barcelona fans from day one if he has the ability.