Barcelona's hopes of reaching an agreement with Ilaix Moriba took an unexpected twist this week. The Catalan club are of the belief that the chances of them reaching an agreement this summer are unlikely at the moment.
The La Liga giants thought they had made a breakthrough recently over a three-year deal, but talks broke down when they met Moriba's representatives on Wednesday for further talks. Ronald Koeman is an admirer of the La Masia graduate and wants the situation resolved sooner rather than later.
According to Spanish publication Sport, Barcelona have now taken a step back from the contract discussions, as they feel Moriba and his representatives are not willing to negotiate in good faith. The Camp Nou outfit's patience is now wearing thin, with the club ready to continue the player's absence from the first-team picture.
Moriba is keen to stay and flourish with Barcelona, but the lack of progress on the contract front has seen him banished from the first-team. The Spain youth international made 18 first-team appearances last season, but has been training with the Barcelona B team during pre-season.
The 18-year-old has also been omitted from the team's pre-season training camp to Germany, which could see him lose his place to another La Masia graduate when the season gets underway. Moriba was also not part of the Barcelona B team that played La Grama on Thursday, which highlights the tense situation between the player and the club.
It is unclear if Barcelona will allow Moriba to leave the club if they fail to reach an agreement this summer. The central midfielder has attracted interest from English Premier League clubs Manchester City and Chelsea, who are ready to double any offer Barcelona have made thus far in terms of wages.
Koeman will be reluctant to lose Moriba, whom he trusted during the 2020-21 campaign. He will hope Barcelona can reach an agreement, especially since they failed to sign Georginio Wijnaldum, who chose Paris Saint-Germain over the Catalan giants.