Done deal: Braga sign Barcelona forward Abel Ruiz

Braga have confirmed the signing of Barcelona forward Abel Ruiz on a loan deal with compulsory purchase option.

The striker is joining the Portuguese club initially on a loan deal until the end of the season, when the deal will then be processed permanently for €8m.

Ruiz will sign a five-year contract for the Europa League club and Barca will hold a buyback clause on the player for three years, while he has a €45m release clause.

The 21-year-old had been hoping to break into the Barcelona senior squad this season but has remained in the B team, despite a number of injuries in the first-team.

Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Ousmane Dembele have all had prolonged absences due to injury this campaign, with youngsters Ansu Fati and Carles Perez instead promoted in their place.

Meanwhile, the Blaugrana are said to be chasing a new striker this month due to a fresh injury to Suarez, but Ruiz is not thought to be in their plans.

“I want to be at Barcelona, but if you don't enjoy the opportunities you want, you have to look for them elsewhere,” Ruiz told press agency AFE back in November.

“Before, my decision was to stay in the B team and continue to grow as a player and as a person and wait for opportunities in the first team.

Ruiz played 21 minutes of first-team action for Ernesto Valverde’s side last season as he came on from the substitute’s bench for Philippe Coutinho in the 2-0 win over Getafe in May.

He has scored three goals in 14 league appearances for Barca’s B team this season and has established himself as an Under-21 forward at international level.

Ruiz has previously played for Spain at Under-17, Under-18 and Under-19 level.

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