• Kyodo

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Barcelona on Monday announced the signing of striker Hiroki Abe on a transfer from the J. League’s Kashima Antlers.

Abe signed a four-year deal after Barcelona paid €1.1 million (about ¥134 million) for the 20-year-old, and will begin his overseas career as a Barca B player on the Catalan club’s reserve team, which competes in Spain’s third division.

His contract includes a €40 million buyout clause, which would rise to €100 million if he is promoted to the first team.

Abe, who posted a photo of himself holding a Barcelona shirt on Instagram, made his senior international debut at the recent Copa America.

Last month, Barcelona’s bitter rival Real Madrid signed teenager Takefusa Kubo, nicknamed the “Japanese Messi,” from FC Tokyo.

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