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Keita Balde: Spartak Moscow unveil Senegal striker with tweet mocking Barcelona’s cash woes

1:51 PM SGT 27/8/22
Keita Balde Cagliari Venezia Serie A
The Russian club saw the funny side to the Spanish giants’ financial problems while announcing the signing of the Teranga Lions forward

Russian side Spartak Moscow have unveiled Senegal forward Keita Balde with a tweet making fun of Barcelona’s financial woes.

Balde joined Spartak as a free agent after signing a three-year contract but it was the manner in which the club unleashed the former Cagliari striker that took many by surprise.

“Registered a new signing without any problems...Jealous, @FCBarcelona?” Spartak said via a social media post while announcing Keita’s signing.

Barcelona’s financial problems have seen them struggle to register their summer signings and the Spanish giants had to activate a number of economic levers while releasing some players to find their way through.

The Blaugrana found ways to register new signings Raphinha, Robert Lewandowski, Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessie before their opening game of the season and also managed to secure slots for Ousmane Dembele and Sergi Roberto, who had to be re-registered following the end of their contracts and before they could sign new deals with the club.

However, defender Jules Kounde had to wait until Friday before he was registered following Samuel Umtiti's loan move to Lecce.

Balde, meanwhile, joins Spartak after one season at Cagliari that just yielded two goals in 22 matches as the Sardinian club were relegated from Serie A in May.

The Senegal forward spent most of his career in Italy, starting out at Lazio where he had a four-year spell from 2013-2017, scoring 31 goals in 137 games.

Balde then moved to Ligue 1 side AS Monaco in August 2017 for a reported €30 million transfer fee and signed a five-year contract but returned to Italy two years later, joining Inter Milan on loan after making 59 appearances while scoring 16 goals.

Another loan spell to Sampdoria then followed which saw him play 26 times, managing seven goals before switching to Cagliari ahead of the 2021-22 campaign.

Balde is Spartak’s fourth signing following the capture of former Lokomotiv Moscow left-back Maciej Rybus, winger Anton Zinkovskiy from KS Samara and Cape Verde-born defensive midfielder Christopher Martins Pereira of Luxembourg.

The Spanish-born striker has 40 caps for Senegal, who he has scored six goals for, and was part of the Teranga Lions squad that won the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon in February.

His signing will boost Spartak’s forward line, especially after former Nigeria international Victor Moses suffered an Achilles injury that is set to keep him out for close to six months early this month.

Spartak are second on the 16-team Russian Premier League table with 13 points from six matches, one behind leaders Zenit St Petersburg. The capital club are away to Fakel in their next league fixture on Saturday.