Barcelona are close to announcing a new long-term deal for young forward Ansu Fati after making a breakthrough in talks with his agent Jorge Mendes. The deal, according to Italian transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, is similar to that of teammate and compatriot Pedri and will include a €1 billion release clause.

Initially, it was claimed that Mendes was averse to his client signing a long-term deal with such a massive release clause. He wanted to ensure that his client had a chance to explore other options in the future without being tied down by a hefty clause.

Barcelona are expected to announce the deal in the coming days, with paper work expected to be signed soon. Fati's imminent deal was also confirmed by Ronald Koeman during his press conference ahead of the team's Champions League clash against Dynamo Kiev.

"I know they are close to agreeing a new contract with Ansu," Koeman said Tuesday, as quoted on ESPN. "It's big news for Barca because we're talking about someone that can mark the club's long-term future."

Barcelona are on a mission to tie down a number of key players to new long-term deals. It started with Pedri, and now Fati, but the team are keen to also tie down youngsters Gavi and Ronald Araujo before focusing on Ousmane Dembele, who is out of contract next summer.

Dembele's new deal is expected to be the most complicated of the lot, with the forward stalling on signing a new deal to explore all the options on the table. The France international is currently sidelined by injury, but is expected to generate plenty of interest if he enters the new year with just six months remaining on his current deal.

The speedy winger will be allowed to negotiate with clubs outside Spain and agree a pre-contract to leave Barcelona on a free transfer next summer. The likes of Liverpool, Manchester United and Juventus are said to be monitoring the situation and are expected to approach the forward to sign him on a free in July next year.

Barcelona have no intention of letting Dembele leave on a free transfer, especially since they paid over £100 million to sign him from Borussia Dortmund in 2017. If he fails to agree a new deal, they are likely to offload him for a fee during the January transfer window.

Ansu Fati
Ansu Fati became the youngest player to score in the Champions League when he netted Barcelona's winner away to Inter Isabella BONOTTO/AFP