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France defender Jeremy Mathieu joins Barcelona on $27M, 4-year deal

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MADRID - Barcelona says it has signed France defender Jeremy Mathieu on a four-year contract with an option to extend it for another season.

The club says in a statement on Wednesday that it reached an agreement with Valencia, where Mathieu has played since 2009.

Barcelona says it has paid 20 million euros ($27 million) for the 30-year-old Mathieu, with a buyout clause fixed at 50 million euros.

The 1.90-meter (6-foot-3) Mathieu has seven goals in 176 matches with Valencia, and is prized for his cool assurance while defending high balls in the penalty area.

The defender will be presented to fans at the Camp Nou on Thursday.

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