Balde signs professional contract with PSG

Goal.com

PSG have agreed a deal for another young academy talent to sign his first professional contract with the club, after Thierno Balde signed a three-year deal, Goal understands.

The 18-year-old defender follows team-mate Kenny Nagera in signing with the Ligue 1 champions, with the deal set to be officially confirmed by the club in the coming days.

Discussions between PSG and Balde have lasted several weeks, with the French side determined not to let another young talent slip through their fingers.

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Central defender Balde has impressed senior staff in his journey through the academy levels at PSG, and this season appeared four times in the UEFA Youth League - the junior level equivalent of the Champions League - although they went out at the group stage after finishing behind Real Madrid and Club Brugge.

He also helped them to the quarter-finals of the Coupe Gambardella - the cup competition for French Under-19 club teams - before the competition was curtailed by the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, he helped the side to third place in the Championnat National U19 League, behind Le Havre and Amiens.

Balde joins 18-year-old striker Nagera in signing his first professional terms with PSG, as the Parisians attempt to protect their best young assets from transfer interest domestically and from around Europe.

Their decisions to remain at PSG are a major boost for the club, who have recently lost defender Tanguy Kouassi on a free transfer to Bayern Munich, while midfielder Adil Aouchiche also looks likely to depart this summer.

With Ligue 1 curtailed and the club handed the domestic title once more, Thomas Tuchel's side only have their currently unscheduled Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue finals to complete on the domestic front, while they await confirmation of who they will face in the Champions League quarter-finals in Lisbon during a condensed mini-tournament style finale.

The decision to cancel the rest of the French top-flight campaign - one of only a few European nations to do so because of Covid-19 - ensured that PSG retained their crown and a place in the Champions League once again next term.

Tuchel's men were 12 points clear of second-place Marseille with a game in hand when the action was stopped, and were subsequently named champions for a third successive season on a points-per-game basis.

 

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