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Former Barcelona winger opens up on deadline day exit: “Only wanted Betis”

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Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images

Barcelona were under severe pressure from La Liga to reduce their wage bill across the entirety of last season. The best way to do it was during the summer transfer window through player sales.

While deals for Francisco Trincao and Antoine Grizmann were finalised early on in the transfer window, for a combined total of €27 million. Some other players left on a free transfer, though, like Alex Collado, Sergio Busquets, and Jordi Alba.

As the window progressed, Ousmane Dembele, Nico Gonzalez, and Franck Kessie also made their way out of the team, signing for Paris Saint-Germain, Porto Al-Ahli, respectively, helping the Catalans rope in around €70 million.

Sergino Dest, Ansu Fati, Clement Lenglet, and Eric Garcia left on loan, but on the final day of the window, Ez Abde headed to the exit door in search of playing time, joining Real Betis on a permanent transfer.

Betis first choice destination, says Abde

Betis were interested in Abde for a few weeks before they finally managed to strike a deal with Barcelona. The Morrocan international also had interest from other clubs across Europe, but only wanted to sign for the Spanish giants.

“Since day one when Real Betis have approached me, I told director Ramon Planes: ‘I only want Betis’. Nothing else, that’s it,” he said, as relayed by Fabrizio Romano.

Barcelona reserve 50% sell-on clause

The deal has been structured rather interestingly. With both clubs under financial duress, Barça were desperate to offload players to raise revenue, while Betis could not offer the Catalans’ asking price of around €20 million.

A compromise was struck, and Betis ended up purchasing 50% of Abde’s rights for €7.5 million. Should they choose to sell the winger in the future, Barcelona will get 50% of the transfer fee.

Further, the blaugranes also managed to include a buy-back clause for him across two summers: €20 million for summer 2024, and €25 million for summer 2025.

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