Barcelona are said to be 'on track' to reach an agreement with Ansu Fati over a new and improved contract, with the young Spaniard fresh out of hospital after undergoing surgery on a serious knee injury.
Fati picked up the injury during Barcelona's 5-2 win over Real Betis, and is expected to be ruled out for the next four months after going under the knife to repair a tear in his meniscus.
The injury is a significant blow to Barca and Fati after his electrifying start to the 2020/21 season. The 18-year-old had netted five goals and contributed four assists, giving new head coach Ronald Koeman something to smile about during a tricky start to his tenure.
Despite his injury woes, Marca report that Barcelona have no plan to halt negotiations with Fati's representatives over a new deal, as they see him not just as an important figure in the first team right now, but also as a star of the future.
Talks between the two parties to extend Fati's contract, which expires in 2022, are said to have started a number of weeks ago. The Catalan giants confirmed back in September that his release clause had been raised to a whopping €400m, but there had been no extension to the length of his deal. As a result, Barça are working to hand the teenager a deal that is more reflective of his growing importance to the team.
In fact, despite their financial struggles in more recent times, Barcelona have not wasted any time in sitting down to negotiate a new deal as they are aware of the need to make an 'economic effort'.
Ultimately, while talks are on the right track, any agreement that is reached must be ratified by the Barcelona board that wins the presidential elections towards the end of January in 2021.
Fati will be looking to make a swift recovery after his knee injury. Five days after he underwent surgery, El Chiringuito TV filmed the player departing hospital in a wheelchair and being helped into a car.
Fati's injury does open the door for Ousmane Dembele to resurrect his ailing Camp Nou career, with the Frenchman no stranger to spells on the sidelines himself. He was once billed as one of the most exciting wingers in world football, but injuries have plagued him since he moved to Spain from Borussia Dortmund.