According to journalist Gerard Romero, Barcelona have identified five players as ‘untouchable’ in the current squad and will not listen to any offers for the quintet. The five players in question are Pedri, Gavi, Ansu Fati, Ronald Araujo, and Alejandro Balde.
The aforementioned quintet is a key part of the core of the team that Xavi is trying to build at Barça. The Catalan giants handed new long-term contracts to four of those five ‘untouchable’ players over the past year.
Indeed, Pedri and Ansu Fati signed new long-term deals last year while Araujo and Gavi also put pen on paper to contract extensions earlier this year.
Pedri, Gavi and Araujo have committed their future to the club until the summer of 2026 while Fati was renewed until 2027 with the club retaining the option of a further two-year extension for the 20-year-old forward.
Furthermore, as confirmed by club director Jordi Cruyff, talks are underway to renew Balde as well. The 19-year-old has established himself as the first-choice left-back for Barcelona this season ahead of experienced individuals like Jordi Alba and Marcos Alonso.
Seen as a key player for the present and the future, Barça are working behind the scenes to extend his contract, which expires in 2024, until the summer of 2027.
The plan is to insert a €1 billion release clause in his deal, like the Catalans have done in the new deals for several of their young players.
Romero also adds that the Blaugrana could listen to offers for other players in the squad, only as long as they are ‘great’.
It is no secret that Barcelona are in need of reducing their wage bill amid stricter Fair Play policies being enforced by La Liga. The Catalans are currently set to exceed their salary limit for next summer and need to make adjustments.
It could lead to the sales of players like Memphis Depay and Jordi Alba, and downward renewals with some stars like Frenkie de Jong and Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
As far as the aforementioned quintet of Pedri, Gavi, Fati, Araujo and Balde are concerned, though, they will not be allowed to leave at any cost.