Barcelona announced Wednesday that highly-rated midfielder Nico Gonzalez has signed a contract extension that will keep him at the club until 2024.
The 19-year-old has already drawn comparisons to Barcelona veteran Sergio Busquets after impressing during his time at La Masia.
Gonzalez has been at the club since the age of 11 and has played regularly for Barcelona B in 2020-21, helping the club achieve a place in the promotion play-offs to Segunda Division A.
Barcelona confirmed Gonzalez’s new deal in a statement on the club’s official website.
“Nico González and FC Barcelona have reached an agreement for the extension of the player’s contract at the club, through to June 30, 2024. The midfielder signed his new deal on Wednesday, alongside club president Joan Laporta, at the FC Barcelona offices at the Camp Nou. His buyout clause has been set at 500 million euros.”
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Gonzalez To Be Part Of First Team Next Season?
After committing his future to Barcelona, Gonzalez could find himself part of the first team squad next season. According to Mundo Deportivo, first-team coach Ronald Koeman has been watching the youngster “for a long time” with a view to promotion.
The teenager is expected to join the first team for pre-season training ahead of the 2021-22 season, according to Diario Sport. If Gonzalez can impress there’s a good chance he could earn himself the chance to stay with the first team for the rest of the campaign.
Busquets will turn 33 in July and so is heading towards the end of what has been a trophy-packed career at the Camp Nou. Gonzalez will be hoping to get the chance to prove he can be the veteran’s successor and the latest talent to emerge from La Masia.
Gonzalez ‘Rejected Very Important Offers’
Gonzalez has attracted interest from other clubs during his time at Barcelona. Premier League champions Manchester City and Dutch giants Ajax have both shown an interest in the midfielder, according to AS.
Fran Gonzalez, the midfielder’s father, has admitted his son turned down approaches from other clubs in an interview with Mundo Deportivo in April.
“He has become a footballer, this sport is very hard,” he said. “He has taken great care of himself, he leads a very healthy life, and for many years he has pursued a dream which is to play for Barça. He rejected very important offers.”
Gonzalez senior has also been impressed by how the youngster has made the step up this season to Barcelona B. The midfielder has made 23 appearances in all competitions for García Pimienta‘s team.
“He has made an important leap and has adapted well to Segunda B. Not only him, but also his teammates,” he added. “Barça B is to be proud of. They have had a brilliant season and whatever happens they have more than met their goal.”
Barca youngsters such as Ilaix Moriba, Pedri, Oscar Mingueza and Ronald Araujo have all caught the eye this season and played regularly for the first team. Gonzalez could become the latest player to make the step up and join what is an exciting raft of youngsters at the Camp Nou.