Barca starlet Sanabria joins Sassuolo

Barcelona have sold 17-year-old striker Tonny Sanabria to Serie A minnows Sassuolo for an initial fee of 4.5 million euros which could go as high as 12 million euros if he joins Roma in future.

Sanabria, already a full Paraguay international who has scored three goals in ten games this season for Barca B, has been expected to leave the Camp Nou for months with his agents having trouble agreeing a new contract with the Catalan club, and Manchester City, Arsenal and Juventus among the clubs monitoring the situation.

The youngster was earlier this week reported to be close to joining Roma, with a loan move to either Sassuolo or Parma being thought likely to overcome some bureaucratic issues at the club in the Italian capital.

A Barca statement released on Wednesday confirmed a permanent transfer had been agreed with Sassuolo, while not detailing the exact role Roma would play in the deal. “FC Barcelona and US Sassuolo have agreed to terms for the transfer of Tonny Sanabria,” the statement said.

“The total transfer sum could reach 12 million euros. 4.5 million euros are guaranteed and the rest, up to 12 million, are dependent on the player’s performance and his future value. The process to purchase the player started with AS Roma, but the transfer was closed with US Sassuolo.”

El Pais reports that the deal will officially see Sassuolo pay the initial 4.5 million to Barca, with the Catalan club receiving 3.5 million when the player [as expected] moves to Roma in the summer after he has turned 18.

The 12 million euro figure will be reached only when set objectives, including a large number of appearances, are met.

The deal brings to mind the exit of current Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi, who first left Barca for Sampdoria on loan in January 2011, and also the complicated move which saw Bojan Krkic join Roma from the Catalan club in July 2011.