Barcelona have announced that they have reached an agreement with academy starlet Alejandro Balde over a new long-term contract.
The 19-year-old wonderkid has pledged his allegiance to the Catalan giants, agreeing a new five-year deal with the La Liga title holders.
Balde’s new deal will keep him at Spotify Camp Nou until 2028, with Barca inserting an eye-watering release clause worth €1 billion.
The Spanish youngster joined Barca in 2011 as an eight-year-old and rapidly progressed through the club’s youth set-up before earning promotion to the first team last summer.
He featured for the first team in 2021, making his debut for the Blaugranas in a friendly against Nastic de Tarragona in pre-season.
Balde was then handed his competitive debut in a Champions League fixture against Bayern Munich, replacing club legend Jordi Alba for a 16-minute cameo.
His La Liga debut followed shortly against Granada, with the teenager going on to make seven top-flight appearances for the Spanish heavyweights that campaign.
Balde found his feet in the Barca first team last season, contributing a goal and seven assists in 44 appearances across all competitions.
The youngster was crucial to the Blaugranas, helping Xavi Hernandez’s side to their first La Liga title in four years, with his debut goal coming in the latter stages of the campaign against local rivals Espanyol.
Balde, a target for Chelsea last summer, has established himself as the first choice left back and has racked up 56 appearances in a Barca shirt since making his debut.
The youngster remains a pivotal part of Xavi’s side this season and has started all but one of Barca’s fixtures in all competitions after sitting out the thrilling 4-3 victory over Villarreal.
Balde is seen as an integral part of Barca’s long-term plans, and tying him to a new long-term contract represents a smart piece of business from the cash-strapped Catalan giants.
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