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Chelsea activate one-year contract extension clause for 21-year-old Barcelona target



Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Barcelona have once again been scouring the market for potential free agents to reinforce their squad in the summer of 2024, and Chelsea youngster Ian Maatsen is one such name on the Catalans’ radar.

The 21-year-old existing contract with the Blues stands to expire in 2024, piquing the interest of Barcelona, who are on the lookout for a new left-back as Marcos Alonso could leave at the end of the season.

Chelsea activate contract extension clause

Now, though, Barcelona may have suffered a setback in their hopes of signing Ian Maatsen on a free transfer next summer.

Indeed, the Evening Standard’s Nizaar Kinsella is reporting that Chelsea have quietly activated a one-year contract extension option in the youngster’s deal to stave off interest from Barça.

The 21-year-old’s existing deal would have expired next year, which would have allowed the Blaugrana to negotiate with him over a pre-contract agreement starting from January.

In order to avoid such a scenario, Chelsea have made use of a clause in Maatsen’s contract to prolong his stay at Stamford Bridge by another year until 2025.

More clubs interested

Ian Maatsen is on Barcelona’s radars. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)

Maatsen has already rejected two new contract proposals from Chelsea as he is keen on having a more prominent role, which has not been the case under Mauricio Pochettinho this term.

Indeed, the Dutchman has played just 84 minutes of Premier League football and as such, could have left for free in the summer in search of more regular action.

But Chelsea have taken that option off the table by triggering the one-year extension option, meaning interested parties will now have to pay a significant fee to sign him.

Apart from Barcelona, clubs like West Ham United and Burnley, where he spent the last season on loan, are also interested in Maatsen.

As such, the Catalans would now have to pay a sizeable fee if they wish to sign him, which could be an issue given their finances.

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