CARSON, Calif. (AP) — Julián Araujo’s move to Barcelona was finally completed Friday as the LA Galaxy announced the defender’s transfer.
The 21-year-old Southern California native will play right back for Barcelona’s “B” team.
Barcelona said earlier this month that it had tried to sign Araujo but that an unspecified technical glitch meant it had missed the winter market deadline by 18 seconds.
At that point, Barcelona’s director of soccer, Mateu Alemany, said the Spanish club was talking to FIFA to see whether the transfer could still be completed. Barcelona was able to finish the deal after reportedly appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Barcelona said Araujo has agreed to a contract for the remainder of this season plus three more. The Galaxy will retain a sell-on percentage of the transfer fee if Araujo is sold to another club.
“He went up through every emotion there was through the process. From being flattered and excited to a club like Barcelona wants you to the possibility that the deal wasn’t going to be in place to negotiation,” Galaxy coach and sporting director Greg Vanney said. “This is a big move to a club like Barcelona. He has an opportunity to get settled in.”
Araujo came up through the LA Galaxy’s academy program before playing four seasons in MLS. He made 89 starts in 100 regular-season appearances with LA and has been a two-time All-Star selection.
Araujo played in 39 games last season with 35 starts. He had one goal with a career-high nine assists.
Araujo has also made two starts and three appearances for Mexico.
“This was a move that was too good to decline. We knew that he was going to be leaving at some point. The timing was great because it was at the end of the window,” Vanney said. “There is a real understanding that players can develop and get better and move on to a world-class club.”
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