FC Barcelona on Saturday confirmed they have renewed the contract of midfielder Nico Gonzalez and loaned him to Valencia for the forthcoming season.
The 20-year-old has signed a three-year contract extension until the end of June 2026, with a release clause of one billion euros (about 1.03 billion U.S. dollars). The agreement also takes him to Valencia for the new campaign.
The fact that Gonzalez, the son of former Deportivo la Coruna captain Fran Gonzalez, is represented by Jorge Mendes, who also has close links with Valencia, has helped smooth the loan deal through, although Valencia does not have an option to make the move permanent.
Gonzalez made 37 first-team appearances for Barca after being promoted from the club's B-team last season. However, the signing of Franck Kessie, coupled with the progress made by 18-year-old Gavi and Pedri's return to fitness, limited his options of regular football with Barca this season.
"I hope that he returns from loan a more complete player," said Barca coach Xavi Hernandez in his pre-match press conference. ■