Arsenal make contact after seeing Barcelona stall with wide player’s contract renewal

Athletic Bilbao winger Nico Williams battling with Barcelona full-back Alex Balde Credit: Alamy
Athletic Bilbao winger Nico Williams battling with Barcelona full-back Alex Balde Credit: Alamy

Arsenal are eyeing an opportunity to sign Alejandro Balde from Barcelona and have made contact with his representatives, according to a report.

Balde has made 13 appearances in La Liga for Barcelona this season, sharing responsibilities at left-back with Jordi Alba. Hopes are high in Catalonia that the 19-year-old could become the former Valencia man’s long-term successor.

With that in mind, Barcelona have been working on a contract renewal for Balde. His current deal is due to expire in June 2024.

Back in December, an agreement was believed to be close for Balde to extend his commitment to Barcelona. At the time, he was being linked with clubs like Manchester United, who looked destined to miss out.

But now, there appears to have been a twist. According to Diario Sport, Barcelona have not yet reached the conclusion they want to with Balde.

In the meantime, some Premier League clubs are noticing a window of opportunity to sign him. Specifically, the report mentions Arsenal and Newcastle United.

Both clubs are said to have made contact with Balde’s entourage to register their interest.

Arsenal currently have Oleksandr Zinchenko and Kieran Tierney as their options at left-back. Newcastle, for their part, have Matt Targett, Jamal Lewis and Paul Dummett.

In Arsenal’s case, the arrival of Balde could free up Zinchenko to play further forward.

As for Newcastle, Lewis in particular has been facing an uncertain future, while Dummett is into the final six months of his own contract. Therefore, further competition may be required.

Barcelona not expecting to lose Alejandro Balde

However, Barcelona still believe they can retain Balde’s services. His agent Jorge Mendes has reminded them that he could be a valuable asset if they need to raise funds, but the intention remains to renew.

In fact, the La Liga side want Balde’s future sorted before the end of the January transfer window, according to the report. Ideally, they want him to accept their offer of a contract renewal until 2027.

Despite this, La Liga regulations are getting in the way of their plans. Due to a salary cap, Balde’s updated terms would not become active until the summer. Hence, he technically wouldn’t be registered as a first-team player yet.

Amid all the uncertainty, Arsenal and Newcastle are keeping tabs on Balde’s situation. Perhaps he would be open to a new challenge if nothing progresses on the Barcelona front.

But the Blaugrana are eager to get their way and are ready to reject offers for Balde should they arrive.

Arsenal and Newcastle are looking in the right places for targets who they could develop over time. But in this case, they might not be able to get their hands on the player they admire.

Yet until anything is signed, they will retain a glimmer of hope.

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The article Arsenal make contact after seeing Barcelona stall with wide player’s contract renewal appeared first on Teamtalk.com.