One of the distinguishing features of Xavi’s time in charge of FC Barcelona first team has been his reliance on the players promoted from the youth team. The Barcelona head coach himself was a graduate of La Masia, and he has done his best to allow players from the academy to shine at the highest stage.
The first La Masia graduate on whom Xavi made a big bet was the left-back Alejandro Balde. Xavi made him one of the starters at Barcelona after the 2022 pre-season, even though veterans like Jordi Alba and Marcos Alonso were also present in the squad.
However, Balde’s explosive start to life at Barcelona was irresistible for Xavi, and he became one of the most in-demand players in Europe during the last season.
The left-back was renewed earlier this season, and his renewal was quite expensive as his agent, Jorge Mendes, demanded a salary increase for the player according to his importance in the team in return for signing a long-term contract with the club.
Under the renewed contract, the player will remain at Barcelona till 2028, and will have a release clause of €1 billion. However, Balde’s stay at the club is not guaranteed even with this renewal.
According to SPORT, officials at FC Barcelona are aware that the fullback has a high demand in the Premier League, and one club in particular is willing to pay a premium for his services.
While the Catalans are not currently open to selling Balde, they will still have to generate a significant amount of money if they want to sign a midfield pivot and a winger, and the sale of Balde can emerge as one of the options at that time.
Still, selling youth players is not a very popular option at Barcelona, and Balde has already become a highly-liked player among fans. However, his performances this season have dropped significantly, and it remains to be seen how things turn out by the end of the season.