FC Barcelona have begun talks to renew the contract of an “untouchable” first team star according to SPORT.
Friday brought with it a report from MARCA that goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen has agreed to extend his terms until 2028.
Aged 31, the German returned to an elite group of the world’s best shotstoppers last season and kept a joint record 26 clean sheets in La Liga as Barca reclaimed the Spanish top flight title for the first time in four years.
Ter Stegen is essentially committing the rest of his peak years to a club he joined in 2014, and the plan is to also tie Frenkie de Jong down beyond 2026 SPORT reports.
According to the Catalan daily newspaper, the Blaugrana have already reached out to the Dutchman’s camp to head to the negotiating table.
As with Ter Stegen, Barca would like to extend De Jong and also have him spread and defer parts of his salary across other seasons.
This would mean that De Jong, one of the highest-earners in Xavi Hernandez’s first team squad, would earn more towards the end of his contract.
More importantly, though, in the here and now, the gesture – if De Jong decides to pursue it – would help Barca achieve some leg room navigating Financial Fair Play limits as they look to improve the first team for the 2023/2024 season.
Getting De Jong to sign on the dotted line with a deal that helps the club shouldn’t be a problem considering he effectively committed the rest of his career to the club in an interview with El Periodico published last weekend.
“It’s my dream club and I want to be here all my life. I didn’t want to leave suddenly,” De Jong remarked, at the end of explaining a time last summer when he put in shop window and almost bought by Manchester United.
Even though he was on the bench at the time as Xavi preferred the likes of Pedri and Gavi instead, De Jong refused to up sticks citing a desire to succeed under the coach and has done this by winning his place back and becoming an “untouchable” in the legendary midfielder’s plans.
On Sunday, in Barca’s first league game at their temporary new home the Montjuic Stadium, De Jong is likely to partner new signing Oriol Romeu against Cadiz as Barca chase their maiden win of the new campaign.