Ilaix Moriba is one of the most talked about names in the FC Barcelona camp at the moment, as disputes over his contract renewal have sparked frustration for president Joan Laporta and Barca’s board. According to Marca, the 18-year old has shown little flexibility in contract negotiations, and Laporta has claimed that Moriba will be sold this summer if an agreement cannot be reached (to ensure he does not leave on a free next year). Due to stalls in negotiations, Moriba has not been available for preason and has been delegated to train with Barca B. It seems that both parties are playing hardball with each other.
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Moriba has emerged as one of the top youngsters in the club. Looking at his performance in the 2020-21 season, Moriba played in 14 games (started 4), while contributing 1 goal and 2 assists. These numbers do not jump off the page, however he showed his worth by utilizing his physical strength and positional versatility. The numbers show he can be a driving force in attacking play, while his upside at 18 years old is bright.
Laporta has threatened to sell Ilaix Moriba this summer if the contract dispute is not resolved
Another interesting layer to the Moriba saga, is that there is interest in his services from other top clubs. Specifically, it is premier league clubs that currently fancy him the most. According to reports, Chelsea are interested in the youngster and have reportedly made an offer to the midfielder, while Manchester City have been linked to him in the past and can always come lurking again. If Barca decides that selling is the only option, there can be an active market for the wonderkid.
The contract frustration between Moriba and Barca can be a warning sign for the club: that retaining its youngsters may not be as straightforward as they think it can be. As Barca continue to slowly build a young nucleus, it will be interesting to see what will happen with the youngster and the club’s other young stars.