Manchester City Women

Leila Ouahabi joins Manchester City from Barcelona

Ali Rampling
Manchester City have signed Leila Ouahabi
Manchester City have signed Leila Ouahabi / Manchester City

Manchester City have announced the signing of Leila Ouahabi on a free transfer from Barcelona.

Ouahabi will officially join the club on July 1, subject to international clearance, and has signed a two-year deal to keep her at the Academy Stadium until 2024.

The left-back is City's second summer signing - and second arrival from the Primera Division - following the addition of highly-rated 23-year-old forward Deyna Castellanos from Atletico Madrid.

"Manchester City have always been a team that caught my eye," Ouahabi said. "I like their style of football so much and the DNA of the club is very exciting.

"This is going to be a completely different experience for me, and I’m really looking forward to it. I want to continue enjoying my football and City are a strong club. Both personally and
professionally, I think I will grow and develop here.

"I also want to keep winning trophies. I like winning and being competitive, and I am coming here to win trophies for City.”

The arrival of Ouahabi continues Manchester City's summer rebuild after six players exited the club; Georgia Stanway has joined Bayern Munich, Jill Scott, Lucy Bronze, Caroline Weir and Karima Benameur Taieb have all departed after their contracts came to an end, while Karen Bardsley has retired.

"Leila is a player who has become accustomed to success throughout her career, and we’re thrilled that she has joined us in a bid to continue that here in England," added Gareth Taylor.

"She has a vast amount of experience in high-pressured situations and will give everything she has to win, which matches our own ethos perfectly.

"She is a player who we have admired for a long time given her standing in the game and to finally have secured her signature is incredibly exciting. We’re very much looking forward to seeing her make her mark on the English game.”

Ouahabi joined Barcelona's La Masia academy at the age of 13 and broke into the first team during the 2010/11 season. She departed for Valencia in 2013, before re-signing for Barcelona in 2016.

During her time with the Catalan giants, Ouahabi made made 199 appearances, scored seven goals and won nine major trophies.

The 29-year-old started the 2020/21 Champions League final as Barça beat Chelsea to be crowned European champions for the first time in the history of the women's team.

Ouahabi is City's second signing from Barcelona's 2021 Champions League winning side, following last summer's addition of Vicky Losada.