According to SPORT, Barcelona are on the right track with regard to the contract renewal of breakthrough youngster Alejandro Balde. Following the latest negotiations, the feelings are positive and the club are close to finalising the extension of the 19-year-old.
Balde is a product of Barcelona’s La Masia academy and made his senior debut under Ronald Koeman last year. However, the teenage left-back is enjoying his true breakthrough in the ongoing campaign.
Indeed, Balde has dislodged Jordi Alba as the Blaugrana’s first-choice left-back while he is also ahead of Hector Bellerin in the pecking order in the right-back slot. Rated very highly by the management, talks over a new deal had been underway for some time now.
Given that Balde’s current contract expires in 2024, Barcelona are intent on getting him tied down to a new deal at the earliest possible. More so after the teenager was called up to the Spanish national team for the FIFA World Cup yesterday as a replacement for Jose Gaya.
Spain boss Luis Enrique was contemplating handing the youngster a call-up in the final squad before itself but had opted for Alba and Gaya. But the latter’s injury has resulted in Balde travelling to Qatar.
And, Barcelona, who have been made aware of interest from Premier League clubs in Balde by his agent Jorge Mendes, want to extend his contract at the earliest possible as a strong run in the World Cup could lead to him attracting more suitors.
While it was initially expected that Barcelona will finalise his renewal in January, recent talks have led to believe that the agreement can be finalised during the World Cup itself and announced before the end of 2022.
As per the report, Balde’s new contract would run until the summer of 2027 and contain a release clause worth €500 million while also seeing his wages improve significantly. An agreement is said to be ‘very very close’ and could be signed as soon as he returns from the World Cup assignment.