Boateng: I wanted to run to Barca

European Transfer News

In one of the most surprising transfers in recent memory, the nomadic former Tottenham and Portsmouth attacker has completed a six-month loan deal with an option to purchase for €8 million (R126m) in the off-season.

Having played in Germany, England, Spain and Italy, the 31-year-old symbolises an extreme change in the Blaugrana transfer policy in recent years; following the acquisitions of South American Paulinho, Arturo Vidal and Jeison Murillo.

While all three players were established internationals for their respective, their profile outside of the Blaugrana philosophy, which Boateng eludes to as he aims to offer 'whatever the coach or team needs' in order to achieve their ambitious goals for the campaign.

"I am really, really happy," he said after becoming the first Ghanian and 13th African to join the LaLiga giants. "These last two days have been two of the most incredible days in my life.

"It is a great honour to be here. I want to enjoy it and I want to win everything. I was a little sad on Monday morning saying goodbye [to Sassuolo teammates].

"We had a good group but I explained that this was an opportunity I could not miss. I told my agents I wanted to run to Barcelona when I found out about the interest, I didn't want to [wait for] a plane!"

With Suarez, Lionel Messi, Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho already competing for the forward spots at Camp Nou, Boateng, who is comfortable in midfield and as a false nine said he knows that he has not been brought in as an automatic starter.

"I have not spoken with the coach [Ernesto Valverde] yet but I know my role is not a starter," he said. "There are incredible players in the team here.

"I am here for my experience and to help. That's what I want: to help when I can. At my age, 31, nearly 32, the number nine role is perfect for me. But it is important to adapt to whatever the team and the coach need."

Boateng has scored 68 goals and registered 52 assists in 428 games for the 10 clubs he represented over his enigmatic career.