Barcelona rising star Oriol Busquets, who turns 19 on 20 January, is only talked about in glowing terms by the Camp Nou coaches. "Always focused", "makes everything easy", and discussed as a potentially perfect replacement for Sergio Busquets, his footballing mirror image. Many think they must come from the same family, but that's not the case, despite the similar style and identical surname. Curiously their fathers coincided at Barcelona a couple of decades ago, but beyond that the only thing they share is the dressing room, occasionally.
Oriol Busquets yet to renew at Barcelona
Ernesto Valverde already has Oriol Busquets in his plans (he gave the youngster his debut in the Copa against Murcia). But things are not going exactly as the club expected. The player's contract finishes on 30 June 2018, but he's yet to renew and there a number of clubs extremely interested in making off with him. Among them, and a major red flag at Barça, is Real Madrid, who remain committed to their plan of signing any notable rising star in the Spanish star market they can, to rejuvenate their squad.
Contract discussions on-going
Barcelona and Oriol Busquets and his representatives have been discussing his new deal for some time now, but are unable to reach an agreement. And the other outfits in the hunt for his signature are only too aware of the situation, and are beginning to believe he can be prised away from the Catalan giants.
That said, executives at Barcelona remain relaxed, convinced that the plan they've already designed for the player is spot on, and despite the threat from Real Madrid, who appear willing to make an effort to land the highly rated defensive midfielder.
Clubs in Serie A and the Premier League are also following the situation with interest, because Busquets' style of play appears suited to the game in either country. Either way, Barcelona know the clock is ticking and they have work to do to tie up one of the most promising players of the next generation.