Barcelona tie down young star with five-year deal including

Barcelona have announced the contract renewal of 19-year-old left-back Alejandro Balde, who will stay at the club for the next five years if he fulfils his contract.

Included in the new five-year deal is a €1b release clause, which will give Barcelona peace of mind that he will not be snatched from their grasp.

In the space of a year, Balde went from first-choice left-back for Barca Atletic, to locking down the same spot for the senior side. After a good preseason, Xavi Hernandez introduced him to the side in just their second game of the campaing last year. By November, his performances had earned him a call-up to the Spain squad for the Qatar World Cup.

Over the course of last season, it became clear that he had won the battle with Jordi Alba and Marcos Alonso to be Barcelona’s undisputed first-choice at left-back. His marauding runs forward even facilitated Xavi’s switch to a system with four midfielders, occupying the role of left winger and left-back at the same time.

Throughout the summer it had been reported that a deal for his renewal was close if not done, and finally the deal will be signed at 13:15 CEST on Thursday. It is the first contract renewal under new Sporting Director Deco, and if injuries are kind to Balde, should secure Barcelona’s future at the position for the duration of the deal.