Barça's stance on Ilaix renewal: sign a new contract or play with the youth team

In light of negotiations with first team players, president Joan Laporta doesn't want to be seen to be weak in renewal discussions with Ilaix Moriba

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German Bona

Joan Laporta is determined not to give in to the demands of young midfielder Ilaix Moriba, who is yet to agree to a new contract with the club. In light of what has already gone on at the club, Ilaix is currently playing with fire. He has already been demoted to the Barça B squad this pre-season, and if the negotiations do not start to move in the right direction he could be dropped even further to the youth team.

The latest round of negotiations have ended without an agreement. Despite sporting director Mateu Alemany's atempts to re-open negotiations with Ilaix and find a solution that suits both parties, no such agreement has been reached to date. The footballer and his entourage feel that the player warrants a much higher salary than the one on offer. However, Joan Laporta is already taking a tough stance with experienced players who have proven themselves at the top level of European football - such as Antoine Griezmann and Philippe Coutinho - and he doesn't want to be seen to be weak with a young academy graduate.

Maximum pressure

Barça's worrying financial situation means that drastic measures need to be taken, irrespective of how painful these may be. Despite being dropped to Barça B and excluded from first team training, there are no signs that Ilaix and his entourage are close to changing their stance. In fact, the opposite seems to be the case. The next move will be to demote Ilaix to the 'Juvenil A' youth team, where he would play alongside players of his own age but far below his ability level.

The club hopes that the player and his agents will agree to a renewal before this next step is taken. Ilaix signed a new deal in 2019 for a then-record salary for a 16-year-old player, with a release clause of 100 million euros inserted into the contract. With just one year left on his current deal, the club wishes to reach a solution before the player is free to negotiate a free transfer with other clubs.

There would be many suitors for the young midfielder. It is felt that his profile would be a good fit for the Premier League, while other media outlets have reported that Real Madrid are also monitoring the player's situation. However, this has not yet been confirmed by SPORT sources.

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