Quite simply, Lamine Yamal has seen an incredible spike in popularity over the last year and through Euro 2024. Nobody can take their eyes off this 16-year-old phenom who has already made his mark as a world-class player as Spain faces England in the Euro 2024 Final. His remarkable play at the tournament has placed him in a position to be named the Euro’s MVP. It further establishes his status as one of the sport’s most promising youngsters.

Barcelona, aware of the gem they possess in Yamal, has made it abundantly clear that he is untouchable. The club has turned down multiple offers for the youngster including a staggering $271 million bid before the start of Euro 2024. According to EFE, the Catalans swiftly rejected this offer, believed to be from Paris Saint-Germain. This bid would have shattered the current world transfer record. When Neymar transferred from Barcelona to PSG in 2017 for $241 million, he paradoxically established this record.

The Catalan club’s refusal to entertain any offers for Yamal highlights their commitment to their young star. Club president Joan Laporta confirmed the rejection of another significant bid earlier in the year. He stated, “We have offers for players like Lamine Yamal worth $217 million, and we have said no. Because we trust in the boy, in his sporting projection, and we don’t have the need to accept.”

Making of a superstar

Yamal’s journey with Barcelona began at the tender age of seven. His rapid development through the club’s famed La Masia academy has been a testament to his exceptional talent and dedication. Now, as he approaches his 17th birthday, Yamal has already made a significant impact on the senior team. His spectacular strike against France in the Euro 2024 semi-finals, where he equalized before Dani Olmo secured the victory, has cemented his status as a key player for both club and country.

The 16-year-old’s current contract with Barcelona includes a $1.1 billion release clause, a clear indication of the club’s intent to keep him for the long term. This clause, designed to deter any potential suitors, reflects the lessons learned from Neymar’s departure. Barca is supposedly hell-bent on retaining another generational star and has secured Yamal’s future at the Camp Nou.

Future is bright for Barcelona

Despite the financial challenges posed by navigating Financial Fair Play regulations, the Blaugrana cannot afford to lose a talent like Yamal. The club has made substantial efforts to secure the futures of other young talents, such as Pau Cubarsi, Hector Fort, and Fermin Lopez, who have all signed new contracts with significant buyout clauses.

Cubarsi, a 17-year-old who will represent Spain in the Olympics, extended his contract with a $543m clause until 2027. Fort, who will be 18 next month, extended his contract until 2026, however, the club did not reveal the current value of his clause.

One of last season’s surprises, 21-year-old midfielder Fermin Lopez, also extended his deal for another season, this time until 2028, with a contract clause of $434 million. The only one of their most promising players that they have failed to retain is Marc Guiu. The 18-year-old striker decided to join Chelsea and pay his $6.5m release clause.