By Can Erozden
ANKARA (AA) - Spanish football club Barcelona on Thursday acquired Danish forward Martin Braithwaite after being granted a special permission to replace their injured French forward Ousmane Dembele.
"FC Barcelona have paid the buy out clause of the player Martin Braithwaite and therefore he is no longer contractually tied to Club Deportivo Leganés. The cost of the clause is 18 million euros [$19.4 million]," the club said on their website.
“The player will sign a contract with the Club for the rest of the season and four more [seasons] until 30 June 2024 with the buy out clause set at 300 million euros [$323 million],” it added.
Braithwaite previously played for Denmark's Esbjerg, French clubs Toulouse and Bordeaux, and England's Middlesbrough. Last season, he made his way to Spain's Leganes.
This season Braithwaite scored 8 goals in 27 matches for Leganes.
Even though the winter transfer window was closed for Spanish clubs on Jan. 31, Barcelona were granted by Spanish La Liga to make an emergency signing over long-term injury problems.
La Liga exceptionally allows clubs to make signings if a player is out due to an injury for at least five months.
Last week, Barcelona said that Dembele will be out for approximately six months for thigh surgery.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup winner, Dembele, 22, underwent surgery in Finland for "a ruptured tendon in his proximal hamstring in his right thigh."
Braithwaite will be the fifth Danish national to play for Barcelona.
Before him, Allan Simonsen, Michael Laudrup, Thomas Christiansen and Ronnie Ekelund had played for Barcelona.