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Barcelona 'accelerate' Aitana Bonmati talks amid Chelsea interest - report

Barcelona 'accelerate' Aitana Bonmati talks amid Chelsea interest - report

Barcelona are pushing to agree a new contract with Ballon d’Or winner Aitana Bonmati amid interest from the Women’s Super League, according to reports in Spain.

The 26-year-old remains arguably the best player in the women’s game right now - she was one of the main orchestrators behind Spain’s World Cup win in 2023, as well as Barcelona’s second consecutive Champions League triumph last month.

Bonmati has been at Barcelona since her teenage years, but only became a permanent figure in the first team in 2016. Since then, she has helped the team to five league titles and three Champions Leagues, as well as achieving success with the national team.

Her rise to the very top of the game has understandably prompted interest from top clubs as she enters the final 12 months of the deal she signed in 2021. According to Spanish outlet Relevo, Chelsea are willing to pay her release clause, which is believed to be in the region of €3m.

The WSL champions are set to undergo a period of transition following the departure of Emma Hayes, who has taken on a new role with the United States Women’s National Team. Lyon manager Sonia Bompastor has been sworn in as Hayes’ successor at Kingsmeadow ahead of the 2024/25 season.

Relevo's report goes on to state that, in light of this interest elsewhere, Barcelona have ramped up negotiations with Bonmati in a bid to keep her at the club. It is claimed their relationship remains positive and discussions have intensified in recent weeks following initial talks earlier in the year.

Can Chelsea tempt Bonmati away from Barcelona?

Reports in Spain very much suggest the threat Chelsea pose is real, despite the fact she told reporters earlier this month: "I'm fine at Barca. I have one more year on my contract - until June 30, 2025."

Bonmati has previously been very vocal in her criticism of the growth of the league in Spain, using the WSL’s rise in recent years as a direct comparison.

"It seems that in some countries it is going great, but in others we are still stagnant," she said in an interview with El Pais.

"We cannot compare England and Spain. There they want and believe. Here they neither want nor believe. So we are stuck.

"I have one more year on my contract at the club, I have been at Barca for 12 years. Playing here is a source of pride. But I am a person who, in general, never closes the doors to anything."

However, prising one of the best players in the world from the best team in Europe may be too tall an order for Chelsea. The west Londoners are an attractive prospect, of course, but so too is Barcelona and they ultimately hold the upper hand in being the club Bonmati has spent the entirety of her senior career.

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