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Experienced defender Fede Barba signs loan deal

Real Valladolid have made further moves to shore up their defence by acquiring the services of Italian centre-back, Federico “Fede” Barba, on a year’s loan from ChievoVerona in his native country.

The 25-year-old was born in Rome and began his youth career with local side Axa Soccer School, aged 6, before moving on to Cisco Roma. He then made the leap to AS Roma’s youth setup where he enjoyed a notable degree of success. In 2010, he was part of the side who won the Under-17 National Championship. This was followed up by winning the Under-20 reserve league in 2011 and then the reserve equivalent of the Coppa Italia a year later. That same season, he was voted Best Young Defender.

Barba has represented his country at Under-19, Under-20 and Under-21 levels between 2011 and 2015.

He began his senior career with Grosseto in Serie B in the 2012/13 season. The following year, he signed for Empoli and stayed with them until 2017, during which time he had a brief stint at VfB Stuttgart in 2016.

The left-footed defender has experience of Spanish football, playing 21 league matches in the Segunda the season before last for Real Valladolid’s rivals, Sporting Gijón.

Last campaign, Barba returned to his roots in Italy and played for ChievoVerona in a season which ultimately saw his side relegated to Serie B. He joins on a contract to June 2020, but there is an option to buy at the end of the deal. Currently, some sources value him at £1.8 million.

He has already begun training with his new team-mates as the side begun their preseason training on Saturday on the Annexos pitches outside the José Zorrilla stadium.

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