Barcelona target Emerson Royal said on Friday, May 28 that he is certain he will join the Catalan giants from Real Betis during the summer transfer window — which spans from July 1 to August 31, 2021 — and sign a three-year deal at the Camp Nou.
The defender is co-owned by both clubs but has spent the last two seasons with the Verdiblancos. Emerson is now due to move to Barcelona and told reporters at his May 28 press conference he expects the deal to go through.
“With certainty. Everyone knows that I have a contract with Barcelona as of July 1,” Emerson confirmed, via 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.”
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Dani Alves Is Emerson’s Inspiration
Emerson is currently on international duty with Brazil after being called up by the Selecao after former Barcelona star Dani Alves was forced to pull out due to injury. On Friday, the right-back spoke about the influence Alves has had on his career.
“He is an inspiration to me. I have always followed him and I have a very special affection for him,” Emerson said, via Diario Sport. “I hope one day to meet him personally either in the Seleçao concentration or myself and, God willing, one day we will play together with Brazil.”
Barcelona has struggled to find a replacement for Alves since he left in 2016. Nelson Semedo, Sergi Roberto and Sergino Dest have all been used in that slot in recent seasons but have so far failed to make the position their own.
Emerson looks set to be the latest player to stake a claim for the slot. The Brazilan defender looks set to battle it out with Dest for the position, while Roberto’s future at the club remains uncertain, according to Marca.
Emerson Dreaming of Barcelona
Emerson also discussed on Friday about how playing for Barcelona is a huge source of pride. The 22-year-old made it clear that moving to the Camp Nou is a result of dedication and hard work.
“For me it is a dream to play for Barcelona. And if this possibility has appeared it was fundamentally as a consequence of my work, my determination and the evolution that I have had during the time that I have played in Betis,” Emerson said. “I am very happy. The recognition that Barcelona has had in me has been key in my career, now I hope to show my work at Barça.”
The defender will arrive after becoming a regular at Betis over the past two seasons. Manuel Pellegrini’s team finished the 2020-21 campaign in sixth place in La Liga, securing a spot in next season’s Europa League, and Emerson says he has learned a lot at the club.
“I am very grateful for everything I have experienced. Since I arrived at Betis I always felt confident in my work because everyone helped me a lot,” he said. “I have played two very good seasons in which I stood out in one league where I had just arrived, I was one of the prominent players at Betis.”
Emerson could be one of several signings to arrive at Barca this summer. Free agents Sergio Aguero, Eric Garcia, Memphis Depay and Georginio Wijnaldum continue to be heavily linked with a move to the Camp Nou.