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Africa Sports News Wed, 28 Jul 2021

Barcelona close to renewing Ilaix Moriba's contract

Barcelona and Ilaix Moriba have still not finalised a new contract agreement with matters turning ugly, however Goal can confirm the Catalan club remains hopeful the issue can be resolved soon.

Manager Ronald Koemann does not want to even consider the possibility one of the pearls of La Masia will leave for free once their deal ends at the end of next season.

In an extreme tactic, the Blaugrana have held him out of all pre-season training with the first team and will not allow him to play in any competition until an agreement is reached - but the relationship between the club and Ilaix has improved in recent days, with a possible deal until June 2024 now under serious consideration.

A couple of weeks ago negotiations were at a standstill, with some at Barcelona even suspecting interference from rivals Real Madrid to sabatoge discussions, which the young player's representation strongly denied.

In recent days it seems harmony between Barcelona and Ilaix has been restored. The player's representatives are more open to a renewal of his contract for the next three seasons, until June 2024, when he will be 21 years old.

Ilaix wants to triumph at Barcelona and the Blaugrana want to avoid losing one of their main hopes for the future from their academy.

Koeman wants him in pre-season and believes he could feature prominently in the upcoming Liga campaign if matters are resolved.

In the absence of big-money signings for Barcelona, the head coach knows he must lean on his young players and has every intention of giving Ilaix the chance to be a breakout star as Pedri was last year.

It has been a difficult time for the 18-year-old, who earlier this week said people had left racist comments under his social media posts because he hadn't renewed yet.
Source: goal.com