FC Barcelona are determined to secure their post-Messi future and it involves tying down their best young players. 18-year-old Pedri is the latest to be confirmed, with the club expected to announce his contract extension on Friday. Early reports suggest that the teenager's release clause has been raised to one billion euros, an amount that far exceeds even Messi's clause prior to his departure from the Catalan club.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta wants to make a statement and Pedri is one of the biggest symbols of the club's new era. According to Marca, he will be signing a new deal that locks him down to the club until 2026. While that seems like a very long time for a pro athlete, the fact that he is only 18 works to his advantage.

The player was plucked out of his native Canary Islands for a mere five million euros. He made the move to Barcelona from Las Palmas in 2020, and has since blossomed into his role in Ronald Koeman's first team squad and even for La Furia Roja.

Pedri had a breakout season with Barcelona before eventually being called up for Spain in Euro 2020. He did very well for both club and country, and the Blaugrana are determined to make sure his future firmly lies at the Camp Nou.

The midfielder's current release clause is no small change either at 400 million euros. However, the club has reportedly lifted that to one billion, way above Messi's 700 million release clause that prevented him from leaving in the summer of 2020. Antoine Griezmann's release clause was set at 800 million, but that amount has become moot after the loan deal was agreed for his return to Atletico Madrid.

Barcelona would want to tie down the player now, before he becomes tempted by other clubs who may be able to offer much more lucrative deals. Pedri is young and was plucked out of obscurity by the Catalan giants, but his value is quickly sky-rocketing. With Barcelona's current financial crisis, they know that they won't be able to compete if other clubs start coming in with big-money deals. Locking him down now is a wise choice.

Likewise, the Blaugrana are also on a mission to get Ansu Fati to sign a new extended deal. The youngster lit the pitch on fire last season before suffering a lengthy injury that took him out for a year. Now that he's back, Barcelona will be working hard to tie him down quickly in order to continue building the backbone of the post-Messi era.

Gerard Pique
Barcelona players celebrate after beating Real Sociedad last weekend Josep LAGO/AFP