Well, that was quick.
Just a day after winning the treble, Barcelona officially announced the signing of right-back Aleix Vidal from Sevilla. The fee is reported to be around €18 million, and reportedly other players are not involved in the deal. Vidal will sign for 5 years and be presented tomorrow after medical tests.
With Dani Alves's future up in the air, the Blaugrana wanted to act quickly to cover themselves for next season. However, Vidal will not be able to join officially until midway through next season, due to a transfer ban handed down by FIFA.
Even if Alves does renew his contract, he is getting up there in terms of age and with Martin Montoya not loved by coach Luis Enrique and Douglas probably not of the required level, a long-term replacement was necessary.
Vidal continues the tradition of Barcelona snatching Sevilla's fullbacks, after previously getting Alves and Adriano from the Rojiblancos. He also continues the tradition of signing ex-Masia wingers turned into fullbacks by coach Unai Emery. Jordi Alba went through a similar process at Valencia when Emery was the boss there.
Vidal has speed as well as Catalonian heritage like Alba, and Barcelona hope his career will follow a similar path to Alba's. His success will depend on if he can continue progressing as a defender, where tackling is still a bit of a weak point. While Vidal did play Sevilla's Europa League Final triumph as a right-back, he wasn't being used in that position every week.
For example, in Barcelona's 2-2 draw at the Sanchez Pizjuan, Vidal played as a right winger and in fact assisted Kevin Gameiro's late equalizer.