Arsenal report: Gunners swoop in for Barcelona wonderkid amid contract stand-off

Alex Balde
Arsenal could try and sign Alex Balde from Barcelona (Image credit: Getty)

Arsenal are considering an audacious attempt to prise Alex Balde away from Barcelona, according to reports in Spain.

The La Liga giants are trying to tie down the 19-year-old to a new contract, with the full-back's current deal due to expire in 2024.

Balde, who is valued at £13.2m by Transfermarkt (opens in new tab), has made a total of 26 appearances for Barcelona (opens in new tab) since graduating from the B team in 2021.

Mikel Arteta

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta looks on during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Newcastle United at Emirates Stadium on January 03, 2023 in London, England. (Image credit: Julian Finney/Getty Images)

The club and the player have reached a verbal agreement on fresh terms, but Barcelona are facing difficulties in registering the proposed new contract, which would run until 2027.

All La Liga clubs have a salary cap based on factors such as revenue and debt, and Barcelona are operating close to their limit.

That makes it harder than normal for the Blaugrana to register new signings or tie down their current players to new deals.

According to Sport (opens in new tab), Arsenal (opens in new tab) and Newcastle (opens in new tab) are keeping close tabs on the situation in case there is an opportunity to prise Balde away from the Camp Nou.

Any deal is unlikely to happen in January, but a summer switch could be possible if Barcelona are unable to make sufficient progress.

Arsenal memorably signed Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona during his teenage years, and they could attempt to pull off the same trick with Balde.

Xavi Hernandez

Xavi Hernandez shouts instructions to his Barcelona players in a La Liga match (Image credit: PA)

Mikel Arteta's men return to action against Oxford United in the third round of the FA Cup on Monday.

If Arsenal get past the League One side they will face Manchester City (opens in new tab) in the fourth round later this month.

More Arsenal

Arsenal have been told they are unlikely to complete a deal (opens in new tab) for Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhailo Mudryk this month.

The Gunners are also lining up in a sensational swoop for another former Manchester City player (opens in new tab).

And Arsenal target Alexis Mac Allister is not thought to be in any rush to leave Brighton (opens in new tab).

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Greg Lea

Greg Lea is a freelance football journalist who's filled in wherever FourFourTwo needs him since 2014. He became a Crystal Palace fan after watching a 1-0 loss to Port Vale in 1998, and once got on the scoresheet in a primary school game against Wilfried Zaha's Whitehorse Manor (an own goal in an 8-0 defeat).