Barcelona are fearful that Chelsea are heavily interested in signing one of their most promising talents from La Masia.
Barcelona midfielder Ilaix Moriba made his breakthrough into the senior team last season and earned praise from the media around the world. His integration to the team benefited them defensively and offensively too. Ronald Koeman’s team had lacked a physical presence in the centre of the park despite oozing in quality, which is an attribute Moriba bridged.
In his first full season with the Blaugrana, the 18-year-old made 18 appearances for the first-team and chipped in with a goal and three assists, across all competitions. The 2021/22 season promised new things for him especially at the back of an inspiring end to the previous campaign, but there seems to be an impasse between the player and club.
Moriba has refused to extend his contract, which ends in June 2022, with Barcelona so far and the Catalans are in an uncomfortable position due to the same. In the middle of a financial crisis, they are reluctant on losing one of their most valuable youngsters for free next year, but neither are they able to offer him a lucrative deal which he desires.
Joan Laporta recently stated that the club will not promote him to the first team for the upcoming campaign as a result of their continued deadlock over contractual negotiations. At the same time, he stated that Ilaix Moriba will be allowed to depart the club this summer with Chelsea thought to be an interested party in signing the Guinea-born midfielder.
Sport has claimed that the defending European champions are ready to offer the youngster a ‘dream contract’, which is why he has been holding out on an extension with Barcelona. While it is unlikely that Barca will promote the player to the senior team, it is unlikely that he will be frozen out as he forms an instrumental part of the Barca B side’s setup.
Moriba has shown that he is capable of being a superstar for Barcelona in the future and has not flatly turned down the prospect of staying at the Camp Nou. Making sense of his monetary needs is difficult, but it is clear that Laporta’s stance is a clear picture of what the club rightly must do. Yet, not promoting him to the first-team is far from the ideal option.
Frenkie de Jong and Sergio Busquets are Koeman’s only reliable options for the midfield heading into next season, while Ilaix Moriba is arguably a better alternative to have than Miralem Pjanic- who has been far from impressive at Barca. The Guinean youngster will also not be able to attract a good price tag if Barca decide to relegate him to their reserve team.
Additionally, it will only end up being Barcelona’s loss if he decides to renew his contract towards the end of the season, because the club would have wasted a year of Moriba’s career by not involving him with the first-team. Chelsea, meanwhile, have not declared any interest for Moriba to Barcelona and could wait to land him for free next summer.