Barcelona Confirm Third Summer Signing After Aguero & Garcia

Emerson Royal

Getty Real Betis' Brazilian defender Emerson Royal.

Barcelona completed the signing of Brazilian right-back Emerson Royal from Real Betis on Wednesday. The defender initially signed a five-year deal in 2019 when he moved to La Liga from from Atletico Mineiro in 2019, but has spent the last two-and-a-half years at Betis.

The Catalan giants confirmed the news in an official statement on the club’s website.

“FC Barcelona have informed Real Betis Balompié that they are exercising their right to bring back Emerson Royal from 1 July after two seasons on loan at the Andalusian club.”

Emerson becomes Barcelona’s third signing of what has already been a busy summer for the Catalans. Argentine striker Sergio Aguero and Spain international Eric Garcia have already sealed moves to the Camp Nou on free transfers.

President Joan Laporta confirmed at a news conference on Tuesday that the club is set to make more signings. He told reporters, “There will be more presentations of players, we’re working on it. We’re working to sign players that improve the first team.”

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Emerson Talks ‘Dream’ Barcelona Move

Emerson all but confirmed his move to Barcelona in a recent interview. He told Efe, “I have a three-year contract with Barcelona. And, as the press has said, Barcelona has already contacted Betis and announced that they count on me for next season.”

The defender is currently on international duty with Brazil after being called up as a replacement for the injured Dani Alves. The Selecao play World Cup qualifiers against Ecuador and Paraguay in June and will then head into Copa America action.

The tournament, which was moved  from Argentina to Brazil less than two weeks before it was scheduled to start due to Covid-19, starts on 13 June. Brazil’s first fixture is two days later against Venezuela.

Where Will Emerson Fit In At Barcelona?

Emerson’s arrival will offer Barcelona more options defensively. The 22-year-old looks set to battle with USMNT star Sergino Dest for the right-back slot. The American has been linked with an exit since the end of the season but has insisted he wants to stay.

Dest spoke to reporters about his future amid speculation Juventus, Arsenal, and Bayern Munich had expressed an interest in his services, as reported by AS. He said, “”I will stay. My time at the Camp Nou has just started and I’m only thinking bout Barcelona.”

Emerson’s arrival could spell bad news for Sergi Roberto. The versatile 29-year-old is also often used at right-back but is coming off a poor season. Roberto missed chunks of the campaign with a thigh injury, tested positive for Covid-19 in December 2020, and struggled for form when he finally did return.

The Catalan is also out of contract in 2022, meaning Barca must decide whether to sell or extend his contract. According to Diario Sport, Manchester City has been in contact with Barcelona to talk about Roberto.

Coach Pep Guardiola is a big fan of the Barcelona player and thinks he “would be a useful addition to his squad.” Roberto would rather stay at the Camp Nou but will listen to offers if he is deemed surplus to requirements.

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