Barcelona have not given up hope of tying young midfielder Ilaix Moriba down to a new contract, but fresh talks between the two parties failed to yield any results.
The exciting 18-year-old has entered the final year of his Camp Nou deal and has so far refused to sign an extension, leading Barcelona to warn him that he will spend the entire season with the reserves unless he signs on again.
Mundo Deportivo claim the club are still looking for an amicable agreement and new talks over an extension have been held, but they did little to clear the air between the two parties. Barcelona were forced to admit that they do not have the financial capability to meet Ilaix’s demands, and although they have proposed a compromise, it is not one that appeals to the teenager.
Those inside Camp Nou, including manager Ronald Koeman, are pushing for a final decision to be made this week. The boss is set to take his squad to Germany for some pre-season friendlies and he wants to know whether Ilaix will be part of the group.
Koeman is keen to use Ilaix, whom he handed a hefty 18 appearances last season, but club officials are currently blocking his involvement with the first team because of his contract situation.
Instead, Ilaix is currently training with Barcelona’s B team, but according to Sport, he could see himself banished yet again and forced to train with the youth sides if he continues to reject an extension.
Should Ilaix refuse to stay, Barcelona will look to sell him this summer before he can leave for free, and there is expected to be plenty of interest in his services from the Premier League. Both Manchester United and Chelsea have been heavily linked with Ilaix in the past, but there will likely be plenty of other suitors if the talented 18-year-old hits the market.