It's no secret that Barcelona have been wanting to sign a forward this January.
Munir El Haddadi's move to Sevilla has left the Catalan club with few attacking options.
A number of names have been touted to be his replacement, including Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud.
However, on Monday afternoon, shock news began to emerge in their search for a forward.
Multiple outlets have reported that Kevin-Prince Boateng is close to sealing a move to Barcelona.
According to Sky Sports, the Ghanaian will join from Sassuolo in a loan deal, with Barca paying around £1.75 million to have him until the end of the season.
They have also included an option to buy for £7 million in the summer.
On paper, it certainly looks like a strange signing.
Boateng has been deployed up front for most of the season by the Italian club but has only scored five times in 15 games for the club.
He also turns 32 years old in March, meaning he is past his best.
So why did Barcelona decide to choose him over other big name targets?
ESPN have answered that question by listing the four requirements Boateng met which prompted Barca to make a move for him.
1) Top-level experience
Boateng has experience playing in the Champions League, having featured in the competition with Schalke 04 and AC Milan.
He has also been part of Milan's Serie A title winning squad in the 2010/11 season.
2) Knowledge of the Spanish league
Although he only played one season in Spain, it can be considered a successful one, having made 29 appearances and scored 10 times for Las Palmas in the 2016/17 campaign.
3) Is prepared to accept a backup role
Pretty self explanatory, it seems as if Boateng is happy to play second-fiddle to the likes of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.
4) Available for relatively cheap on a short-term deal
As mentioned above, Boateng will only cost Barcelona £1.75 million until the end of the season.
If he turns out to be a roaring success, Blaugrana can then sign him for £7 million; a low fee in today's market.
The report also lists three names that Barcelona were linked with and why they decided against signing them.
- Cristhian Stuani - deemed too expensive.
- Alvaro Morata - preferred a move to Atletico Madrid where he's been guaranteed more football.
- Carlos Vela - discarded at the last minute because he's not played competitively since November.
So there you have it. Although Barca fans may be confused as to why the club have chosen to sign Boateng, their reasons why actually make a lot of sense.
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