Soccer-Crystal Palace sign Moroccan defender Riad

Soccer Football - LaLiga - Real Betis v Real Madrid - Benito Villamarin, Seville, Spain - December 9, 2023 Real Madrid's Luka Modric in action with Real Betis' Chadi Riad REUTERS/Marcelo Del Pozo/ File Photo

(Reuters) - Crystal Palace have signed Barcelona's Morocco international defender Chadi Riad on a long-term contract, the Premier League club said on Friday.

The 20-year-old joins Palace after spending a season on loan at Real Betis for whom he played 30 times in all competitions.

"The club has high-level players who are young and I have come here to follow their same trajectory, to grow as they have grown," Riad said in a club statement.

Riad was born in Palma, Mallorca, to Moroccan parents and came through the island club's youth system before moving to Barcelona and graduating from the La Masia academy. He made only one appearance for Barcelona's first team.

He has earned three senior caps for Morocco, debuting against Sierra Leone in January and scoring his first international goal against Congo earlier this week.

Riad is Palace's first arrival of the transfer window which opened on Friday.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; editing by Clare Fallon)

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