TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Transfer
The most prized prospect in the history of the Montreal Impact academy is headed to one of the biggest clubs in the world.
Montreal announced on Thursday that they have transferred attacker Ballou Tabla to FC Barcelona for an undisclosed fee. He becomes the first Impact academy grad to be sold to a European club. He'll join Barcelona's reserve team, Barcelona B, which competes in Spain's second division.
“This first transfer is an important moment in the history and evolution of our club,” Montreal Impact president and owner Joey Saputo said in a statement. “We take a lot of pride in seeing a young player, developed in our academy, climb the ladder all the way to the first team and realize his dream to play in Europe with a big club like Barcelona.”
📝🔵🔴 BREAKING NEWS - Agreement with @impactmontreal for transfer of Ballou Jean-Yves. 18-year-old attacking midfielder joins Barça B from the MLS club on a three-year deal with an option to two more https://t.co/7ENiTs7Kea #BarçaB #BeWelcome pic.twitter.com/HwSSfYGvn6— FC Barcelona B (@FCBarcelonaB) January 25, 2018
Tabla, 18, signed a three-year contract with Barcelona with two additional option years. According to Barcelona's announcement, the buyout clause during the first three years of the deal is set at 25 million euros; the buyout clause after the first three years rises to 75 million euros.
Tabla only played one MLS season with Montreal, recording two goals and two assists in 21 regular season games in 2017. The youngest player in Impact history to play in an MLS match, Tabla signed a first-team contract with Montreal on Oct. 20, 2016.
Tabla joined the Impact academy in August 2012, then left the club in December 2013. He rejoined the Impact academy in April 2015, then played with FC Montreal in USL in 2016, the same year he was named Canada's Under-20 Male Player of the Year.