Martin Braithwaite: Barca Unveil Controversial New Signing In EMPTY Stadium

Martin Braithwaite has been unveiled as a Barcelona player following his controversial move to the Spanish champions on Thursday.

The Denmark international was, however, not afforded the sort of welcome new signings at the club have become accustomed to after he was unveiled in an empty Nou Camp.

The unveiling was a fitting commentary on the divisive nature of the deal with Barca coming under fire from all quarters over their conduct in raiding struggling Leganes for Braithwaite – a move which critics say has all but condemned Leganes to relegation.

La Liga controversially allowed the reigning champions to complete the £16million move as an emergency signing, and the unveiling was performed behind closed doors as the 28-year-old penned a four-year deal.

Barca are thought to have completed all aspects of the deal inside 24 hours after they secured permission to replace Ousmane Dembele who has been ruled out for the remainder of the season.

Braithwaite said: ‘At first I was surprised by Barça’s interest, but for many years it was something that I had dreamed of.

‘I had the ambition to play at that level. I always believed in it. If you are positive, you work hard and you pray, everything is possible.’

The Denmark forward has scored six of bottom-club Leganes’ 18 league goals this season and the club’s general manager Martin Ortega has criticised Barca and the division’s governing body over their handling of the transfer.

‘We consider that there is a regulation that is unfair, from which Barcelona has benefited,’ Ortega said.

‘The one who is damaged by this is Leganes. We want to raise our voice. The damage is enormous.

‘We do not understand the current regulation in any way. That a team, because a long-term player is injured, may unilaterally, transfer that problem 100 per cent to Leganes.

‘Barcelona knows the damage it can do with the signing of Braithwaite. We believe that there is a regulation that is not fair. FC Barcelona has benefited from that regulation. The injured party is Leganes.’