Barcelona have moved to protect young starlet Munir El Haddadi from the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea by offering him a new long-term contract.
According to reports, the 19-year-old, who has broken through into the first team this season, will also have his release clause increased to €35 million in order to ward off his Premier League suitors.
Munir is rated as one of the brightest prospects to have emerged from Barcelona's famed La Masia academy in recent years, and has made six La Liga appearances to date under new boss Luis Enrique.
However he's not yet made the permanent step up to Barcelona's senior squad, with Enrique preferring for the youngster to continue his development with the B squad - and that could potentially open up the door for either Arsenal or Chelsea to pounce.
Both clubs have previous when it comes to pinching Barcelona youngsters - Arsenal spirited away a young Cesc Fabregas back 2003, while Chelsea snapped up Oriol Romeu in 2011.
It seems both had designs on doing the same with Munir, and now Barcelona have reacted. According to Sport, the new deal will keep him at the club until 2017 and crucially also guarantee him a place in the first-team squad in the coming seasons. That, coupled with the increased release clause, will leave Barcelona officials confident of keeping the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal at bay.
New claims today today suggest they have a long history of doing just that - according to Spanish journalist Guillem Balague, Arsenal also tried to sign Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique when they landed Fabregas. He claims that Arsenal held talks with Messi's family, who ultimately opted against the deal, while Pique refused straight away.
In his new book 'Messi', Ballague wrote: "During the 2002-03 season the Cadete A side was followed closely by Arsenal who were looking to sign not just Cesc Fabregas, but also Gerard Pique and Leo Messi.
"The Messis listened to what Arsenal had to say but they were not about to have their heads turned. Obstacles were apparent in any potential agreement. The same agreement that they worked out with Cesc. Pique (or, to be precise, his agents) said no."
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