Barcelona reportedly promised star full-back Jordi Alba a new contract back in 2016 and have yet to fulfill their promise, leading to fears the situation "could get messy in the coming months."
According to German Bona of Catalan newspaper Sport, the club have handed new deals to other players since making the promise to Alba, and the Catalans have yet to start work on a new agreement. The defender's contract runs out in 2020.
The report details how Alba is the club's only real option at left-back, explaining how he played nearly every minute of last season and is expected to do so again this year. Despite this, the club have yet to reward him with the new deal they promised.
Alba's contract contains a buy-out clause of €150 million, which would be an enormous fee for a 29-year-old defender. There's no real fear Alba will bolt before 2020, but the longer Barcelona wait, the more likely the player is to seek out greener pastures. As noted by Bona, the left-back position is not among football's deepest in terms of elite talent at the moment.
Despite this, he didn't make the Spain squad for the upcoming international matches:
Alba was born and raised in Catalonia but spent time with Valencia before returning to Barcelona in 2012. He's been a key performer for the club ever since, and it's difficult to picture him in the shirt of another club.
But according to the report, Manchester United and Chelsea have both expressed an interest in the past, and the longer this contract situation carries on, the more likely an exit becomes.
If the player was indeed promised an extension and it still hasn't arrived two years later, it's a bad look for the club and a potential sticking point when the two parties do meet to discuss terms.
So far there has been no indication Alba is upset with the lack of movement, but he's unlikely to be happy he still hasn't received the contract he was promised.