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Barcelona ‘preparing new five-year deal for Alejandro Balde’

Barcelona ‘preparing new five-year deal for Alejandro Balde’

Barcelona are reportedly planning to offer a new long-term contract to defender Alejandro Balde.

At one stage during the summer, it was suggested that the academy graduate could be offered to Wolverhampton Wanderers as part of any proposal for Ruben Neves.

However, since the decision was made to retain the services of the full-back, the 19-year-old has flourished under the tutelage of Xavi.

Balde has made a total of 13 starts and three substitute appearances in La Liga and the Champions League, contributing three assists in the former.

Although the youngster is regarded as a left-back, five of his starts this campaign have come on the opposite flank, showing his new-found versatility.

Barcelona manager Xavi pictured in September 2022© Reuters

Such has been Balde’s rapid progression that he was fast-tracked into the Spain squad for the World Cup without making a senior appearance for La Roja.

Substitute outings came against each of Costa Rica and Germany, highlighting how highly regarded Balde has become on the domestic and international scene.

According to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, Barcelona officials are ready to react with a new long-term deal for the prospect.

As it stands, Balde has just over 19 months remaining on his existing terms, but there is now no chance of Barcelona opting to cash in on his services at this stage of his development.

Jordi Alba in action for Barcelona in December 2021© Reuters

With Jordi Alba‘s contract due to expire in 2024, Balde is regarded as the long-term replacement for the 33-year-old, who is also in Qatar for the World Cup.

Alba has recently been questioned on his future at Camp Nou amid speculation that Barcelona could be prepared to allow him to depart the Catalan club.

In response, Alba told El Larguero: “I have a contract with Barca and I see myself capable of fulfilling it until June 2024. I have earned respect.

“When I don’t see myself ready to play for Barca, I’ll be the first to leave. I don’t want to make a fool of myself.”

Romano adds that a release clause in the region of €1bn could also be inserted into Balde’s contract, like it has been with fellow La Masia graduates such as Pedri and Gavi.

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