Chelsea’s new search for a left-back has reportedly led them to Barcelona, with teenage prospect Alejandro Balde emerging as a target for the Blues.
This claim comes from Mundo Deportivo, with the report stating that Chelsea are keen on signing Balde this summer and have even contacted the player’s entourage to let them know of their interest.
Balde is a product of Barça’s La Masia youth setup and made his first-team breakthrough during the 2020/21 season under Ronald Koeman.
However, despite there being no natural cover for Jordi Alba at left-back, the 18-year-old was not used by Xavi Hernandez in the 2021/22 campaign. And with the Blaugrana pushing to sign a new player for the left-back slot, his prospects are unlikely to improve anytime soon.
Balde, as a result, has reportedly informed Barcelona that if they cannot guarantee more minutes this season, they let him leave the club. And, Chelsea are now ready to swoop in and sign the teenage prospect.
Chelsea have held an interest in Balde for some time now, having made enquiries for him in January 2020 and the summer window of last year. With Marcos Alonso, a target for Barcelona, expected to leave this summer, the Blues are on the lookout for replacements.
While they have been linked with several top players in recent weeks, Balde’s potential has seemingly seen them target a move for the Barcelona youngster.
The 18-year-old is contracted with the Catalan giants until the summer of 2024 and has a massive release clause worth €500 million. The full-back, who is represented by super-agent Jorge Mendes, would be keen on an exit if regular game-time is not guaranteed at Camp Nou.
Barcelona have already lost one young prospect from the B team, having seen Arnau Comas join FC Basel recently. Whether Balde follows in his footsteps and decides to leave the club and join Chelsea remains to be seen.