Barcelona: Promoting Ilaix Moriba over Wijnaldum signing will save millions

Ilaix Moriba of Barcelona (Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Ilaix Moriba of Barcelona (Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

Barcelona are pondering over making Ilaix Moriba an important part of the first team setup next season instead of signing Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum. This move could save Barcelona millions as the club navigates through a financial crisis.

According to Sky Sports, Moriba could become an important first-team player next season. This would put an end to the hopes of Wijnaldum signing for the Catalans. The 30-year-old is one of the top targets for Ronald Koeman who’s been linked to the Blaugrana ever since the Dutch manager took over the reins at Camp Nou.

Koeman has also met president Joan Laporta and asked him to consider the names of Memphis Depay and Wijnaldum who could both arrive as free agents after seeing their respective contracts out at the end of the season.

Promoting Ilaix Moriba could save Barcelona millions amidst financial crisis

Barcelona are in deep financial troubles and they will have to tread carefully when it comes to transfers and contract renewals. Lionel Messi’s renewal remains of utmost importance and Barcelona is doing everything to convince the Argentine about the Sporting project.

In times when treasury chests are scarce, free transfers could be a smart and highly beneficial move. So, in theory, Wijnaldum move would be a shrewd signing but what is not being taken into account is the annual salary that Wijanldum is expecting. According to Mundo Deportivo, the Dutch midfielder has salary demands of 8 million euros per season.

Barcelona’s board is looking into the prospect of promoting La Masia product Moriba and hand him an extended role in the senior squad. The evidence from his breakthrough season seems extremely convincing that the club is actually considering discarding an arrival of an experience-laden, top-notch midfielder for Moriba.

Barcelona finally showing trust in La Masia youth again

There was a time when Barcelona produced gems through La Masia and these wonder kids would eventually play for the first team and win laurels for the club, making a name for themselves on the global stage.

To date, it is spine chilling to think that Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Puyol, Gerard Pique and so many other Barcelona players cost nothing to the Catalans. They were bred and polished at La Masia.

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Those days now feel like an eternity ago as lately Barca became just another club who’d buy top talents instead of incubating them in the academy and giving them the first-team opportunities in the developmental years. Barcelona’s spending spree never stopped in the last few years as new faces kept on walking through the doors of Camp Nou and ultimately this has been one of the main reasons for the rupture of Barca’s financial structure.

The arrival of Laporta as president and Koeman as the manager has seen a change in the narrative as the La Masia youngsters are being given opportunities in the first team, not only bits and parts role but also playing in crucial Barca ties. Moriba and Oscar Mingueza can attest to the above notion.

Slowly but surely, there has been a shift in the way Koeman sees Riqui Piug as well. The 21-year-old skilful midfielder was deemed as unwanted in the Dutch manager’s plans but with hard work and perseverance, Puig is making place in Koeman’s plans.

As for Moriba, this is a huge positive. The club is putting a lot of trust in him and favouring him over signing Wijnaldum. If Laporta eventually decides to promote Moriba and not sign Wijnaldum, Barcelona could save millions in their already oversized wage budget.

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Should Barcelona gave Ilaix Moriba an extended first-team role and discard the idea of signing Georginio Wijnaldum?