Updates from Friday, Aug. 29
Barcelona confirmed on Friday that Douglas has passed his medical, sealing his move to the Catalan giants.
He will wear the No. 16 jersey, as revealed by the club:
Barcelona have completed the signing of Sao Paulo full-back Douglas.
He signs before Barcelona's 2015 transfer ban is implemented, meaning he can head to Spain once this season concludes.
Barcelona confirmed the news on its Twitter account:
The club revealed more details behind the move in a release:
The deal will cost Barça four million Euros with performance variables of another one and a half million based on games blocks.
Douglas will travel to Barcelona for a medical at the end of this week, when he will also put pen to paper on a five year deal and be officially presented as the Club’s latest summer signing.
Many will be surprised to see a player of Douglas' ilk arrive at the Camp Nou. The right-sided defender doesn't immediately jump out as Barcelona quality, but could address some of Luis Enrique's needs without forcing the new boss into dropping a major sum.
Is Douglas a smart signing for Barcelona?
Barcelona are banned from signing players throughout 2015 after breaching FIFA's rules when it comes to acquiring minors, per BBC Sport.
Douglas can act as an attacking right-back or right-sided midfielder. He is speedy, ready to commit to challenges and ensures he leaves a mark one way or another. In 10 appearances for Sao Paulo since April, the player has made an average of 3.9 tackles and 2.4 fouls each game, per WhoScored.com. He has also scored one goal and provided an assist in this time.
That said, the uncapped Brazilian has never challenged for a spot in the national team and doesn't come close to the quality Dani Alves has shown over the years. Douglas' positioning is often questionable, highlighted by his last-ditched fouls, and he will need to quickly adapt to Barcelona's way if he's to become anything other than a bit-part player under Enrique's rule.
Douglas' arrival could put an end to Barca's hunt for Juan Cuadrado, who represents a much more costly investment on the right side, per Joe Short of the Express. This could allow Enrique to spend on other areas of the squad, but Barcelona's defensive improvements remain a priority after last season's collapse.
Enrique has opted to sign useful defenders rather than top-tier names this summer. Both Jeremy Mathieu and Thomas Vermaelen have plenty to prove in the famous shirt, but bring a wealth of European football experience with them. They are both versatile internationals who can fulfil a number of duties across the back.
Douglas is both inexperienced at the top level and pinned to one side, unlike Cuadrado, who could slot in almost anywhere. Sky Sports' Paulo Freitas doesn't believe the player is up to Barcelona's standard:
Douglas is nowhere near Barcelona's level, this is probably the oddest transfer story involving Brazilians this window.— Paulo Freitas (@Cynegeticus) August 14, 2014
Enrique would be wise to keep the player by his side, drill Barcelona's style into his brain across the year and then ease him into the team. Douglas could also benefit from working with Alves before taking to the field.
The new manager certainly isn't holding back when adding a sense of grit to Barca's style. Enrique appears to be targeting players who naturally bring fight—highlighted by the arrival of Ivan Rakitic and Luis Suarez—a philosophy Douglas fits into.
Whether his technical ability is also up to the standard of the famous Barca jersey remains to be seen.