Much less looking for new signings, the key topic Barcelona are focused on currently is securing their star players to renew their contracts. While the negotiations with the players have been fruitful so far, their efforts to adhere to La Liga’s salary limit have been less successful.
Earlier in the summer and then in September, the Blaugrana locked up two of their young rising stars in Ronald Araujo and Gavi. Both signed long-term deals linking them to the club until 2026, along with the likes of Ansu Fati and Pedri.
However neither have been registered with the first team yet and as of now, they are playing on their Barca Atletic deals. That is because Barcelona cannot or do not know if they are able to put the deals through with La Liga and be able to register them.
There have been no signs of discontent from either and the assumption is that both new contracts will be completed soon. However it is still a doubt as Barcelona approach other negotiations.
The chances this will impact upcoming potential renewals for Sergi Roberto, Marcos Alonso or Sergio Busquets are slim, due to their lack of interest in a move elsewhere. It could be a problem for their negotiations with Alejandro Balde.
His rise has been sudden and after winning a starting place in the first part of the season, his renewal will be a priority for the club. Speaking to MD, Balde confirmed that Barcelona was where he wanted to be, even if he had offers last summer.
“There were offers but nothing serious because I wanted to stay here.”
“Well, right now I leave everything in the hands of my agent but yes, my intention is always to be here but what anything can happen in the future, you never don’t know.”
Balde is right – there are no certainties until a deal is signed, as Lionel Messi will attest. According to Fichajes, Balde is also starting to attract interest from the Premier League.
Chelsea are unconvinced by Marc Cucurella or Ben Chilwell so far, while Manchester United are aware that Balde would provide competition for Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia.
There is of course the possibility that this story has appeared at a convenient time for Jorge Mendes, Balde’s agent. As the Gavi and Araujo contracts remain in limbo though, it may tempt Mendes and other agents to refuse to sign contracts unless they are assured they can go through immediately.
At which point, if other clubs are not already trying to tempt Balde elsewhere, the pressure will only augment. The longer negotiations and contracts are delayed, the more risk there is that another party will intervene and cause issues for Barcelona.
It takes just one case of this happening for a potentially serious mistake to to occur, and while Director of Football Mateu Alemany has shown himself to be a tough negotiator, the Blaugrana can only lose if they do not hold onto a precocious talent like Balde. If other teams can involve themselves more seriously in the matter, the price will only increase too.
Before Barcelona do anything else in January, they must ensure the Gavi and Araujo deals are registered by hook or by crook. Following that, a deal for Balde should follow swiftly.