FC Barcelona are busy sorting out their squad list for next season, and youngster Ilaix Moriba has been caught in the crossfire. The club want him to renew his contract, and are now resorting to bullying tactics to get him to put pen to paper.
Moriba knows what he wants from the club and his agents have laid out their demands during the contract renewal negotiations with the Blaugrana. However, the club have limited resources and they are not willing to give in to any demands that are beyond what they had initially wanted to offer.
As such, the 18-year-old has been demoted to the Barcelona B squad and has not been training with Ronald Koeman's first team this summer. This is despite the fact that he had proven himself worthy of a first team spot through his performances last season.
Barcelona are now desperate to lock down the deal so that they can move on to many other transfers that need attention this summer. Now, apart from being demoted to the B-team, Moriba was also left out of the selection for the B side's pre-season friendly against L'Escala on Friday.
The management has therefore made it clear that the player has no choice but to accept the offer that they have on the table, or he may end up having a season on the sidelines that can potentially permanently damage his career.
Moriba's contract runs out at the end of the upcoming season, and he will be able to leave on a free transfer next summer. He can wait it out but a season on the bench won't allow him to attract suitors. If he doesn't renew his contract according to Barcelona's terms, then he has no choice but to be left out of the first team squad and possibly be forced out into oblivion.
Luckily for both parties, the midfielder's performance last season has attracted the attention of Premier League sides like Manchester City and Chelsea. With the Catalan giants desperate for cash and with the player unwilling to accept the kind of offer that his current team can offer, both may end up choosing a summer exit deal.
Time is running out with the season about to start in a few weeks, and Barcelona need to make a decision about whether or not they will decide to sell or keep yet another player on the payroll who may not be able to contribute on the pitch.