Spain - Barca strikes deal to sign Alba

Barcelona struck a deal Thursday to sign Valencia and Spain left-back Jordi Alba for 14 million euros ($17.5 million) on a five-year contract, the Catalan club said.

"Barcelona Football Club has today reached an agreement with Valencia for the transfer of Jordi Alba, pending a medical which he will undergo in Barcelona next week," a statement from the club said.

"The cost of the transfer will be 14 million euros and the player will sign a contract for the next five seasons," it added.

The Barcelona sports press had been buzzing with rumours of a northward move for Alba, 23, a Catalonia native who trained in Barca's youth academy and impressed last season in the Spanish league, where Valencia finished third.

Valencia's midfielder Jordi Alba celebrates after scoring during the UEFA Europa League quarter-final second leg football match between Valencia and AZ Alkmaar on April 5, 2012 at the Mestalla stadium in Valencia. AFP PHOTO/ Jaime REINA

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