Tello's hat-trick against Levante was one of his career highlights. PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB.

FC Barcelona and Porto FC have reached an agreement for the loan of striker Cristian Tello for the next two seasons, with the latter having an option to buy. The loan will operate on a payment basis, and FC Barcelona withhold the right to cancel the option to buy as well as the loan agreement itself at the end of the first season.

After winning seven out of the previous eight Primeira Liga titles, Porto finished third last season, and will hoping for an improvement under new manager Julen Lopetegui, who was at FC Barcelona for three seasons as goalkeeper in the nineties.

Tello, a product of the club’s own youth system, has been in the first team for the last three seasons, scoring 20 goals in 86 appearances. Last season he started just five games, with Tata Martino preferring to use him a substitute. Three of his five goals came in the form of a spectacular hat-trick in the 4-1 win in the cup at Levante, while he also scored at the Camp Nou against Glasgow Celtic and Osasuna.

Local hero

Born in Sabadell, just outside Barcelona, he’ll turn 23 in August, and first joined Barça when he was eleven, although he did have short spells as a youth player with Damm and Espanyol before retuning in 2010 to definitively join the B team. And it wasn’t long before he was lining up with the first team.

He made his debut on November 8, 2011, scoring two goals against Hospitalet in the first round of the cup. . His 7 goals in 22 matches in the 2011/12 season, followed by 8 in 34 in 2012/13 were certainly impressive, but even so it was hard for him to get regular football against such tough competition for places in the Barça frontline.    

A European U21 champion, he made his full international debut against Ecuador in the summer of 2013, but has not played for Spain since.