Barcelona have reached an agreement with Atlético Mineiro for the transfer of 20-year old Brazilian right-back Emerson in the upcoming summer transfer window. The fee has been set at €12 million, while the youngster joins on a 5-year contract.
Earlier negotiations involved Emerson’s move to Real Betis with Barça claiming an option to sign him, along with a percentage of his transfer fee. But instead, the club has gone ahead to seal the deal without involving Betis at all, with a direct transfer.
Barça view Emerson as the real successor to club legend Dani Alves, who made 391 appearances over the course of 8 years at the club. Sergi Roberto has become the first-team right-back after adapting to the new position from his natural one in midfield.
Although Nélson Semedo has been brought in from Benfica, he is yet to reach the same level of understanding with the likes of Lionel Messi that Sergi Roberto enjoys. But the 25-year old Portuguese right-back has taken several strides this season.
Due to his price tag, it is clear that Emerson will slot right into the first-team squad. That will certainly be demoralising for Moussa Wagué and on-loan Sergi Palencia. But according to Barça scouts, the Brazilian starlet has a greater chance of succeeding at the Camp Nou than those two.
Emerson has a lot of potential. He is yet to be recognised by Tite as worthy of a call-up to the Brazilian national team, and has started making waves in the Brasileiro with his attacking flair and prowess further up the pitch. He is also a prolific youth international.
Emerson’s signing may also indicate that Sergi Roberto is returning to his natural position next season. In that case, Nélson Semedo would finally assume a role in the first-team, with Emerson as his backup and Sergi Roberto always available due to his versatility.