Valencia have signed promising youngster Juan Bernat to a new contract to 2015, raising his release clause to €20m in the process.
It extends the player’s original deal by three seasons and comes in light of the Mestalla outfit’s growing belief in the left-winger’s potential. The player described it as a great prize, and expressed his happiness at signing with the club he has developed at.
Bernat has been one of the surprise of Valencia’s pre-season campaign, playing regularly and managing to score goals in the side’s victories against Sporting CP and Hamburg. Based on the left of Unai Emery’s developing 4-3-3 system, the player faces tough competition for a place, with Sergio Canales and Pablo Piatti options to play in the position likely to be given primarily to Juan Mata.
Bernat acknowledges that despite his Coach’s penchant for squad rotation, that the new contract does not push him into automatic contention alongside the more experienced competition for a place: “I
Bernat is not the only youngster to progress this summer under Emery, with 17-year-old tall forward Paco Alcacer also getting playing time in friendlies, and responding positively to training with the senior squad.
The contract renewal for Bernat – and is believed to be a direct response by club management to avoid another ‘Isco case’ whereby Malaga took advantage of the player’s low buyout clause of €6m to sign one of Spain’s most promising Under-19 internationals away from Mestalla. Emery admitted it is important to involve and encourage Bernat and Alcacer, as much for being home-grown talent as they are promising.
Technical director Braulio Vazquez echoed this: “It is very important to have quality players like Bernat who also show great commitment to Valencia. He is a player with great ability, is fast, technical, scores goals and has personality, but most importantly humility and desire to work.”
The new deal, coupled with words coming out of the club indicate that where a loan deal for 2011-12 was originally being suggested, that now the youngster has an equal chance of remaining with Los Che.