Chelsea and Liverpool face transfer stand-off for Barcelona teen compared to Ansu Fati

Chelsea and Liverpool are both eyeing moves for Barcelona teenager Alex Balde, according to reports. Balde is set to be fast-tracked into the first-team under Ronald Koeman.

Balde is seen as one for the future at the Nou Camp.

The 17-year-old Spaniard has been compared to Ansu Fati, who has burst onto the scene at Barca.

Having come through the academy at La Masia, Barca chiefs think he can follow in the winger’s footsteps and break into the first-team.

The left-back is seen as a potential replacement for Junior Firpo, who has been tipped to leave the club.

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Balde has impressed through the youth ranks, having featured multiple times in the UEFA Youth League.

Balde’s potential has seen him earn attention from numerous clubs around Europe, according to reports in Spain.

Spanish outlet SPORT claims Chelsea and Liverpool have both approached the youngster’s representation to discuss a potential move.

Barca promoted him to their B team during the summer in the hopes of keeping him happy in Catalunya, and are apparently ready to move him into the first-team.

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If Firpo were to leave, Balde could become Barca’s second-choice option and become an instant back-up to Jordi Alba.

Balde is said to be happy at the club, and has no intention of trying to force through a move.

If he is promoted to the first-team, it is claimed Chelsea and Liverpool will face a more difficult task in trying to prize him away.

If the Blues were able to, however, he’d be the second rising star to swap Barcelona for Stamford Bridge this year.

During the summer transfer window, Chelsea signed centre-back Xavier Mbuamba on a free transfer.

The Dutchman had turned down a new deal by Barcelona chiefs and signed a contract until 2023 at Stamford Bridge.

Unlike Mbuamba, however, Balde reportedly sees his future at the Nou Camp and wants to break into Koeman’s first-team.

Regardless, Chelsea and Liverpool remain interested, and could try to entice him away during the January transfer window.

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