Joan Laporta is determined to not give in to the demands being made by the teenager, who’s playing with fire.
Ilaix has already been dropped from the first-team for pre-season, with sources close to the club indicating that should things continue as they have been he could be dropped from Barcelona B and forced to train with the Juvenile A team.
Ilaix’s entourage believe the teenager should be earning more than he is, but Laporta has already shown how tough he can be with established players like Antoine Griezmann and Philipp Coutinho. His hand won’t shake.
Barcelona are in the midst of an economic crisis, trying to reduce their wage bill to meet La Liga’s salary cap and give themselves the wiggle-room to renew Lionel Messi’s contract.
Barcelona hope that Ilaix will come to his senses and be more agreeable in negotiations; they already handed him a record contract in April 2019, when he was just 16, and placed a buy-out clause of €100m on his head.
Ilaix is about to enter the final year of his contract, meaning that he could join whomever he chose on a free next summer should he not renew with Barcelona.
He’s not short of suitors. His characteristics would suit the Premier League well and he has admirers there, while Real Madrid have also been credited with an interest.