Talks are already underway between Barcelona and Ilaix Moriba over a new contract.
Ilaix is set to be out of contract around a year from now after signing a three-year deal in 2019.
But if there’s one thing Barcelona definitely cannot afford amid their financial crisis, it’s to lose their brightest young talents.
Ilaix is undoubtedly one of those players, the 18-year-old midfielder attracting plenty of praise from those at the Catal club, already making 18 senior appearances for the club this season.
And Barcelona are going to move quickly to make sure the central midfielder does not slip through their grasp.
According to Sport, talks are already ongoing between the two with Barca and Ilaix keen to get a new deal agreed.
The Guinea-born starlet’s representatives met with Barca officials on Thursday, according to the report, with the aim of ensuring Ilaix remains a Barca player for the long term.
The report claims negotiations ‘won’t be simple’ but it’s promising that both parties are showing intent to strike a deal.
It’s reported no money or contract length has been discussed just yet, with the meeting held to establish a ‘base’ for the negotiations.
Nevertheless, the news will be welcomed by Barca fans and indeed Ronald Koeman, who once said of Ilaix, as published by The Sun: “Every time he comes into the team he gives the team something extra, because of his personality, his energy, most of all he’s good with the ball, and physically he’s a strong boy.
“He’s gaining ground and showing he can be more with the first team.
“It is clear that we are proud to let young people from grassroots football in.
“We do it because they deserve it, there are people like Pedri, Ilaix, Riqui, Araujo, Mingueza … They are the future of the club.”