Gavi signs new Barcelona contract with €1bn release clause

Spanish teenager is already a key player for both club and country

Barcelona manager Xavi has described Gavi as the 'heart' of his team. AFP
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Barcelona teenager Gavi has signed a contract extension until 2026 that includes a release clause of €1 billion.

The Spanish midfielder was given his Barca first-team debut by then manager Ronald Koeman against Getafa in La Liga in August 2021 aged 17 years and 24 days, making him the fourth youngest in the club's history.

He became the youngest player ever to play for Spain after being named in Luis Enrique's starting XI in the win against Italy in the Nations League in October 2021, aged 17 years and 62 days.

He broke the record held by Angel Zubieta Redondo, who donned the Spain jersey for the first time in 1936 aged 17 years and 284 days.

“He can be the future of this team, but he can also be its present too because he has the personality to play at this level,” said Enrique after the match.

Gavi scored his first goal for the Catalan giants two months later during a 3-2 win over Elche, which made him the third youngest goalscorer for Barca.

By June 2022, he had become the national team's youngest scorer, finding the net against Czech Republic in June – aged 17 years and 304 days – breaking the record set in 2020 by his Barca teammate Ansu Fati.

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The 18-year-old has started in all of Barcelona's matches this season, with the club currently second in La Liga behind Real Madrid.

Gavi, who has played for the club since 2015 and was already under contract until 2023, will officially sign his new contract on Thursday in an open event at Camp Nou.

After Barca's recent 3-0 La Liga win at Sevilla, current manager Xavi hailed Gavi as the “heart” of his team after a standout performance from the Las Masia graduate.

“It doesn’t surprise me, I see him train every day,” said Xavi. “It’s down to hard work, discipline and heart. He was the best player in the game, because of his intensity, fight, passing, high pressing – he has heart in his legs.”

There was disappointment for Gavi and Barca in the Champions League on Tuesday night, though, when they were beaten 2-0 by Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.

It was a night to forget for striker Robert Lewandowski, who left the Bavarians for Barca during the summer.

Updated: September 14, 2022, 1:53 PM