Earlier this week, Barcelona confirmed the contract extension of midfield prodigy Gavi, tying down the 18-year-old to the club until 2026.
The renewal follows in the footsteps of the Catalans securing the long-term futures of other rising stars Pedri, Ansu Fati and Ronald Araujo, as the club look to build the team around this core group of youngsters.
And, according to SPORT, the next in line for a new long-term contract extension could be left-back Alejandro Balde.
The 18-year-old teenager made his debut for the Blaugrana in September last year under then-manager Ronald Koeman. While he spent the rest of the season with the Barça Atletic side following Xavi’s appointment, the young defender has burst into the limelight this season.
Indeed, after making an impression on the coaching staff during pre-season, Balde has now become the first-choice left-back at Spotify Camp Nou, ahead of club captain Jordi Alba.
Given his rise in stature, a new contract could soon be in the offing for Balde should he keep up his performance levels.
As things stand, the 18-year-old’s current deal runs until 2024, meaning he will be entering the final year of his contract next summer. A long-term deal like the ones handed to his fellow La Masia graduates Gavi and Fati could thus be on the horizon for Balde.
Gavi, Pedri, Araujo Eric Garcia, Pablo Torre and Frenkie de Jong are all tied down until 2026. Fati, Ferran Torres, Raphinha, Jules Kounde and Andreas Christensen have contracts that run till 2027. And by extending Balde’s contract, Barça would be securing another piece of the puzzle.