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Barcelona summer spending totals Sh13.7 billion

Barcelona’s coach Luis Eneique (C) touches the shoulder of New Castle United’s Rafael Benitez (L) after a meeting of the Elite Football Club Coaches forum at UEFA  headquarters in Nyon. PHOTO/AFP

Barcelona’s coach Luis Eneique (C) touches the shoulder of New Castle United’s Rafael Benitez (L) after a meeting of the Elite Football Club Coaches forum at UEFA headquarters in Nyon. PHOTO/AFP

BARCELONA, Spain, Sep 1 – Barcelona spent a total of Sh13.7 billion (£102.6 million) during the transfer window just closed, the Spanish champions confirmed on Thursday.

“We needed to provide more youth to the squad, and young players of quality to keep providing results on the field,” Barca’s director of professional sports Albert Soler told a press conference.

The Catalan club spent more money than any other Spanish club over the summer, bringing in six new faces altogether.

French international defenders Samuel Umtiti, 22, and Lucas Digne, 23, were signed from Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain respectively, while Portugal midfielder Andre Gomes, 23, joined from Valencia for an initial 35 million euros.

Dutch international goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen, 27, joined from Ajax last week for an initial 13 million euros, with Spain forward Paco Alcacer, 23, arriving from Valencia for 30 million euros just before the window shut this week.

In addition, 22-year-old midfielder Denis Suarez returned to the club from Villarreal after Barca activated a buy-back clause.

At the same time, a number of players left the club, with Brazilian full-backs Dani Alves and Adriano moving to Juventus and Besiktas respectively.

Youth products Sandro Ramirez and Martin Montoya also left along with Cameroon midfielder Alex Song and Croatian starlet Alen Halilovic, while several others departed on loan.

Soler admitted that Barca had parted with around 30 million euros more than they had planned to spend, but insisted that this was mainly because the club wanted to seize the opportunity to recruit Gomes.

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“We have made important signings who will provide us with many possibilities,” said technical secretary Robert Fernandez.

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