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England youth striker Louie Barry rejects contract and leaves West Brom

By Matt Wilson | West Bromwich Albion | Published:

England wonderkid Louie Barry has rejected his three-year contract offer and left the Baggies.

Louie Barry. Photo: WBA

The 16-year-old striker, who has been courted by Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig, is expected to sign for a new club soon.

If he moves overseas, the Baggies will receive just £235,000 in compensation due to Fifa’s flat rate.

If he joins an English club, Albion can take the matter to a tribunal to try and negotiate more.

The Sutton Coldfield striker has been honed at the club’s academy since the age of six, and there were high hopes he would be a regular first team player in the future.

His exit will come as a blow to the Baggies, who offered him a one-year scholarship followed by a two-year professional deal. It’s believed PSG have offered him a five-year contract.

It follows an emerging trend in professional football, as more and more young English talent is being lured abroad for cheap compensation fees.

Two of Barry’s England youth team-mates, Jamal Musiala and Bright Arrey-Mbi, have recently left Chelsea to join Bayern Munich.

Albion believe the rules should be changed to guard against European clubs pinching England’s best youngsters.

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“It can frustrate you, that’s for sure,” admitted technical director Luke Dowling at Slaven Bilic’s unveiling.

“Because of the rules that apply to these young boys that go across border, it can sometimes be driven for the wrong reasons in my opinion.”

There are also changes afoot inside Albion this summer. Academy manager Mark Harrison, one of Barry's mentors, is leaving to join rivals Aston Villa.

Barry first rose to prominence last year when he scored 10 goals in five games for England Under-15s at a tournament in Italy.

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He also won the golden boot in November at the Val-de-Marne tournament which England Under-16s won.

Rekeem Harper, another academy product who could leave this summer, is now a free agent.

However, the 19-year-old midfielder is still training with the Baggies and it’s hoped he will sign his four-year contract offer.

Matt Wilson

By Matt Wilson
Football MMPJ - @mattwilson_star

Sports reporter at the Express & Star, who primarily covers West Bromwich Albion.

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