Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has urged Sergi Roberto to stay at the Nou Camp forever amid ongoing negotiations for the midfielder to commit his long-term future to the club with a new contract.
From the age of 14, Sergi progressed through the different youth ranks of La Masia before earning his first-team debut during a Copa del Rey victory over Ceuta in 10 November 2010.
The Spaniard endured a slow start to the life in the first-team but has developed into a key member of the squad ever since former manager Luis Enrique gave him a chance to impress at right-back last season.
The 25-year-old still has a contract at the Nou Camp until 2019 but it was said that the three clubs were willing to meet his €40m (£35.3m, $47.2) release clause to lure him away from the La Liga giants.
Barcelona have reacted to that speculation with recent reports claiming that they have offered Sergi a new deal with a stunning €400m clause to ward off potential suitors.
Sergi is said to be demanding Barcelona give him a pay rise in accordance to that new clause but last week the player himself suggested that the agreement between the two parties was not far off.
"The negotiations are on the right track," Sergi said. "I have always said that I have been a Barca fan since I was a kid so I think both parties should be able to reach an agreement without any problem. There are always talks to be had. That is what they [his agent and Barcelona officials] are talking about in meetings but I think everything is going well under control."
And Bartomeu has now also expressed his hopes for Sergi to commit his long-term future to the Nou Camp after the versatile midfielder received Barça's fair play award for the 2016-2017 season.
"The fair play award says a lot about how Sergi Roberto is as a player and as a person. Sergi Roberto's humility is what we want at Barça and the one we value. Sergi was born 25 years ago, days before we won our first European Cup. We have a player for the future player who has to be here. We are talking [with his agent] for him to continue for many years," Bartomeu said, as quoted by AS, before sending a message to the player.
"You must stay here Sergi many years. You must retire at Barça, your Barça. I've seen many comebacks but you made us live the mother of the comeback [by scoring the winner during the impressive 6-1 comeback against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League last 16] and that's why I thank you."
Sergi meanwhile expressed his delight over receiving the award while reiterating his intentions to continue at the Nou Camp for the remaining of his career.
"I want to thank everyone that voted for me. It's a special award," the Spaniard said. "A lot of teammates deserved it and I think it is for the whole team. We are more than a club. They have taught me a lot of values like showing respect for the opposition, for referees and for our fans. I will try to continue [at Barcelona] the rest of my career."