• Barcelona wants to extend Ansu Fati's contract
  • Barca is said to be considering increasing Fati's $480 million buyout clause
  • The striker has been touted as Lionel Messi's heir

Barcelona’s touted Lionel Messi successor could be looking at a bright future at Camp Nou.

Ahead of the next transfer window, Barcelona has begun working on some player contracts.

Aside from the Messi contract extension saga, the Catalans are also eyeing to prolong the stay of Ansu Fati.

Despite barely playing this season, Fati could be handed a lucrative contract extension as Barcelona is keen to offer him a deal that will run until 2026, Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo reported.

The report stated that Fati’s current contract with Barca is set to expire in 2022, but the club isn’t taking any chances and would like to secure a long-term deal with the teenage phenom.

The report added that Barcelona is considering increasing Fati’s already whopping buyout clause of €400 million ($482 million).

Fati has been exceptional for Barcelona, but a knee injury saw him missing most of the season. Even worse, the 18-year-old isn’t expected to return in 2020-21 due to a series of setbacks in his recovery.

“It’s true, it’s taken a bit longer than we expected in the beginning because he had some issues to start with and that was the reason that it’s taken a bit more time than we expected in the beginning,” Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman said of Fati’s recovery last month.

“He’s now working well in the gym, in a few weeks he will start training outside,” he continued. “He's a young player, he needs to come back strong, and that's the most important thing. ”

However, things may have gone better in recent weeks for Fati as a new course of treatment is said to have been showing positive results.

If the progress continues, the youngster might not have to undergo another surgery, Spanish publication RAC1 reported.

Ansu Fati became the youngest player to score in the Champions League when he netted Barcelona's winner away to Inter
Ansu Fati became the youngest player to score in the Champions League when he netted Barcelona's winner away to Inter AFP / Isabella BONOTTO

Prior to his injury, Fati was a key figure in Koeman’s squad, having notched five goals in his first 10 games.

It has become more and more apparent that Fati could be Messi’s heir in Barcelona after the Argentine himself suggested that he wants the wonderkid to succeed the same way he did.

"I really like him and I try to help and support him. He’s an amazing player and he’s got what it takes to succeed,” Messi told of Fati last year. “But if I look at it through my eyes, I’d like them to bring him on gradually, like they did with me when I started, taking things nice and easy and without putting pressure on him. You have to remember that he’s only 16.”