Alejandro Balde, a defender for Barcelona, is close to committing his long-term future to the team despite interest from Premier League powerhouse Chelsea
According to SPORT, the footballer will sign a new four-year contract that will keep him at Spotify Camp Nou until 2027 and include a €1 billion release clause. Despite their dire financial circumstances, the Catalan giants are eager to sign their best players to long-term contracts, and Balde is the next in line for an upgraded agreement. The 19-year-old, who progressed through Barcelona’s youth system, has swept La Liga and all of Europe since joining Xavi Hernandez’s first-team group only last summer.
With 20 starts in 23 league matches and five assists this season, he has wasted no time in dislodging club great Jordi Alba to establish himself as a regular starter. Alba has been reduced to the bench due to Balde’s performance, while Marcos Alonso—a natural left-back—has mostly played as a centre-half.
Chelsea has also expressed interest in the young phenom due to his impressive play, but Barca moved quickly to sign him to a new contract as his existing one was set to expire in the summer of 2024. However, given their troubles with La Liga and Financial Fair Play regulations, it is unclear if they will be able to register the young player for the upcoming season.
Balde was said to be leaving Camp Nou on loan last summer, but head coach Xavi stopped that, and the defender has paid back his manager’s trust. The young player has also received assurances from Barca that he would be enrolled with the other players who have extended their contracts. Additionally, he will continue to serve as a regular starter going forward.
Alba’s long-term future is now uncertain as a result of Balde’s renewal; the club is debating whether or not to sell the 34-year-old this summer. Alba wants to continue at the club despite having less playing time, but as Barca looks to balance their budget, the Spain international will have to take a wage reduction.
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