FC Barcelona are reportedly interested in signing one of the biggest young footballing talents in Germany, Saido Balde.
The 14-year-old is currently at Hamburg and is already starring for the U17s despite his young age.
As Barca and their scouting department continue to monitor prodigies in European football that could be the stars of tomorrow, Balde is said to have come to their attention.
Turning 15 in June, he is also out of contract in 2024 and can leave his German club for free.
When Balde is 16, Barca could offer him his first professional contract and would also not have to pay a transfer fee to what would by then be his former employees.
Several top outfits in the Bundesliga are already tracking Balde according to SPORT, and Barca must convince the teenager and his family that Camp Nou is the best place for him to blossom and progress.
Borussia Dortmund have enjoyed the most success with this in recent years and have persuaded talents such as Jude Bellingham and Erling Haaland to use them as a stepping stone with the promise of first team football before they are then sold on for monstrous fees.
Though Haaland was sold for a relatively low £51 million ($57.7 million) when Manchester City activated his release clause last year, Bellingham is expected to bring in anything up to €150 million ($160 million) when offloaded to a suitor such as Real Madrid or Liverpool in the near future.
Barca will therefore want to act quick so that Dortmund or their biggest domestic rivals Bayern Munich don’t snap Balde up first.
SPORT notes that Balde “stands out for his ease in one-on-ones and for his offensive capabilities”. But something that might worry those interested in him is that he suffered a small eplitic fit during a match last week.
Hamburg’s medical staff have claimed that the incident won’t hamper Balde’s career. With German and Portuguese passports, he is free to play anywhere in Europe if he decides that he has gone as far as he can with his current club.
Were he to sign with Barca, Balde could provide competition to one of the La Masia academy’s most talked-up prospects on the right wing in Lamine Yamal.