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Barcelona B announces signing of Ballou Tabla

A young MLS star is bound for Barcelona.

The Montreal Impact announced on Thursday that Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla has been transferred to Barcelona. The 18-year-old forward will join up with Barcelona B on a three-year contract with two option years.  The contract includes a release clause of 25 million euros for the first three years and 75 million euros if he extends the deal.

“This first transfer is an important moment in the history and evolution of our club,” said Montreal Impact president Joey Saputo. “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.”

Tabla developed in the Impact academy after joining the club in 2012 before originally leaving the club in Dec. 2013. Tabla rejoined the club’s setup in 2015 before playing with the club’s USL team the next season.

He made the leap to MLS in 2017, scoring two goals while providing two assists in 21 games with 11 starts.

The forward was a part of transfer controversy throughout the summer as Tabla skipped practice in an effort to force a move away from the club. He eventually apologized, but has now finalized a transfer to one of the world’s biggest clubs.


  1. So, lets look into the future here: If he happens to make the 1st team and someone pays the 75mill euro release clause…will Montreal get any of the solidarity payment? Technically they are not part of USSF and only USSF and MLS do not take part in player solidarity.

    Am I missing something or is it better to be an MLS team in Canada to cash in on young talent this way?

    • The release clause is part of the contract between Player and Barca. MLS is not a party to it, just as MLS is not a party to negotiating the players wage from Barcelona. It is a clause inserted for the player to know that there is a benchmark for him to convince a prospect club to pay in order to free him from his Barca contract if for any reason he becomes un-happy or not optimally used with regards to his own career self-interest. I have not been able to find any data on the terms between Barca and Montreal. TransferMrkt values him at $500k, so with a ,multiplyer based on his young age and the wealth of Barcelona, I would bet his deal is valued at least at 1.5m to 3m, and probably also includes performance & re-sale add-ons

      • Correct about how the release comes about, but being that he is only 18, if he were to get sold on for “$X millions” before he’s 23, then normally the former club gets their solidarity compensation. But given MLS’s history with this topic, how does it work if Montreal isn’t a part of USSF but a part of MLS.
        Seems like FCB would claim all the transfer fee…a good business deal for them.

    • Who said that? This is typical of Euro contracts…the team will havev1. An option 2. It will be a two way street for the agent to “opt out” 3. A release clause

  2. It would have been nice if the article had identified his nationality (Canadian, but born in Cote D’Ivoire). Good for the kid, hope it works out.


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