Barcelona have confirmed back-up goalkeeper Neto’s contract at the Camp Nou has been terminated, with the Brazilian moving on to Premier League side Bournemouth.
The Catalans confirmed the news via the club’s official website.
“FC Barcelona and Norberto Murara, professionally known as Neto, have reached an agreement to terminate the player’s contract that bound him to the club until the end of the 2022/23 season,” read a statement. “FC Barcelona wishes to publicly thank Neto for his commitment and dedication and wishes him every success in the future.”
The stopper has now joined Bournemouth on a free transfer, signing a 12-month deal with The Cherries.
Neto became just the second Brazilian ever to play in goal for Barcelona when he arrived from Valencia in 2019. The 33-year-old Brazilian departs after three years and just 21 appearances in all competitions for the Catalans.
The goalkeeper is the latest player to leave Barcelona as the club’s summer clear-out continues. Neto joins the likes of Clement Lenglet, Riqui Puig, Oscar Mingueza, and Francisco Trincao in leaving the Camp Nou.
Follow the Heavy on Barcelona Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
Inaki Pena To Replace Neto
Neto’s departure means that 23-year-old Inaki Pena looks set to become Barcelona’s back-up goalkeeper next season and will take up the role as Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s deputy.
The highly-rated youngster is another player who has come through the club’s famous La Masia youth academy after joining Barcelona from Villarreal at the age of 13.
Pena spent the second half of last season on loan at Turkish side Galatasaray and came up against his parent club in the Europa League in the last 16. The goalkeeper impressed during the tie but could not prevent the Catalans progressing.
Gala coach Domenec Torrent talked up Pena during his time at the club and is expecting big things from the youngster next season at the Camp Nou, as reported by Diario Sport.
“He will be Barcelona’s second goalkeeper behind Ter Stegen from next season. He is one of the best young goalkeepers in Europe. Many offers came from La Liga and Barcelona rejected them all,” he said. “We spoke with a lot of people from Barcelona. He himself was not interested in the offers, but only the offer from Galatasaray. The first option in his mind was Galatasaray. Our goalkeeping coach worked with him for six or seven years. You will see Iñaki Peña in Barcelona’s starting eleven in many games next season.”
Neto Talks Premier League ‘Dream’
Meanwhile, Neto now gets the chance to play in the Premier League with newly-promoted Bournemouth and has told the club’s media it’s always been his dream to play in the English top flight.
“My dream has always been to be here in the Premier League and play in the Premier League. I’ve been lucky to play in Serie A and lucky to be in La Liga. It’s been an amazing experience,” he explained. “I think God brought me here for a reason and I’m really lucky to have this opportunity. So I hope and I want to do my best for my teammates, to help Bournemouth and to d great things.”
Neto was at Bournemouth to see the Cherries kick off their new league campaign with a 2-0 win over Aston Villa on Saturday, August 6. Bournemouth’s next fixture is a trip to Premier League champions Manchester City on Saturday, August 13.