Kevin-Prince Boateng confirmed his shock move from Sassuolo to Barcelona is close, calling his impending switch to Camp Nou a "huge opportunity."
Barca coach Ernesto Valverde had been hoping for attacking reinforcements in January, particularly after seeing Paco Alcacer depart for Borussia Dortmund in the previous transfer window and then Munir El Haddadi join Sevilla this month.
But Boateng is an arrival few had predicted, with the former Ghana international – who has played for Tottenham, Borussia Dortmund, AC Milan and Schalke, among others – reportedly joining on loan with an €8million purchase option.
Now 31, Boateng is viewed by many as a player who has never really lived up to expectations after initially impressing as a teenager at Hertha Berlin, but he is on the verge of the move of his career and can hardly believe it.
Speaking to Sky Sport Italia, Boateng said: "It's a bit of a sad day, because I leave a fantastic group and a club like Sassuolo that gave me so much.
"Barcelona is a huge opportunity and the emotion is unique. I was very stressed today [Monday], but I wanted to respect Sassuolo."
With media speculation regarding Boateng and Barca going into overdrive on Monday, things from the past were swift to resurface.
One particular interview from 2017 revealed Boateng had regarded himself as a Real Madrid fan since he was a child, but he dismissed that ahead of joining Barca and is eager to score against Los Blancos in the next Clasico on March 2.
"Those are old things, I think only of Barca," he said. "I hope to score in the Clasico at the Santiago Bernabeu."