Mitoma for sale, Barcelona blow – Brighton’s €19m deal throws open summer transfer window

Robin Bairner
Robin Bairner
  • 10 Feb 2024 04:57 CST
  • 2 min read
Kaoru Mitoma, Brighton, 2023/24

Brighton have opened the door to the sale of Kaoru Mitoma in the summer with a €18.7 million investment in Ibrahim Osman.

On Saturday, Brighton confirmed that they have concluded a deal with Nordsjaelland that will see them sign Osman in the summer, with a fee of €18.7m (£16m) reportedly agreed for the 19-year-old Ghanaian winger.

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Osman has signed a contract with the Seagulls that will run until 2029, with the forward expected to be the next gem picked up by the south coast club, who have polished diamonds such as Moises Caicedo, Marc Cucurella and Alexis Mac Allister in recent seasons, going on to sell all for big money.

This deal will have far-reaching consequences.

Firstly, it opens up the possibility of Mitoma leaving the club in the summer.

A host of teams have been credited with interest in the Japan international winger in recent months, with Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea all linked with a move for the 26-year-old wideman.

Mitoma boasts an Estimated Transfer Value (ETV) of €24m, down from a peak of €30m, and it is expected that Brighton will demand a fee in the region of €60m for a player they signed for just €3m in 2021.

Expect to see the trio of Premier League giants scrambling to sign him.

Major Barcelona setback

Barcelona have also been linked with Mitoma in recent days, yet Brighton’s decision to sign Osman takes the 20-cap Japan international away from the Camp Nou side.

Barca had been hoping to use Ansu Fati as a makeweight in the deal. Ansu is presently on loan at Brighton, but while he has shown the occasional spark of genius that saw him hailed at one time as Lionel Messi’s heir at Camp Nou, he has more typically been a luxury replacement.

Having just returned from a couple of months out with a calf injury, Ansu has it all to prove at the AmEx Stadium, and Osman’s signing simply reduces his value to Brighton and makes a part-exchange move less attractive for the Premier League side.

Financially stretched, Barcelona are unlikely to have the capacity to challenge the likes of Man City, Man Utd and Chelsea in a straight fight for the player and may need to give up on this particular track.

For the Premier League clubs, meanwhile, the fight for Mitoma has just begun in earnest.

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