While the transfer saga surrounding Lionel Messi ended, another begins for Barcelona in the form of Ilaix Moriba.
The 18-year-old midfielder has made it clear he has no intentions of renewing with the club and is willing to sit out the entirety of the 2021-22 season in an effort to leave as a free agent once his deal expires.
Ilaix Moriba is looking to leave Barcelona as a free agent
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According to Sport, Ilaix is prepared to accept the consequences from his non-renewal and wait until the winter transfer window opens to sign with a new club. Other teams would be free to negotiate with him and not have to pay Barca a transfer fee.
Barcelona had given up hopes of reaching an agreement with Ilaix as they received no response after submitting their final proposal. Their belief was his entourage was negotiation with other clubs and were never thinking of a renewal.
The player has been made available as the Catalans are looking for a fee somewhere between €15-€20 million. RB Leipzig and Chelsea are two of the sides interested with Leipzig showing the most interest.
The question now is whether any interested party are willing to negotiate with the club or simply wait the six months when they can negotiate with Ilaix’s representatives directly and save themselves a fee.
The Blaugrana would have liked to have reached an agreement with Ilaix but the salary demands proved a hurdle unable to overcome. They are scrambling to reduce the wage bill in time to be able to register their new signings and have little wiggle room in that department.
An outside chance is more teams become interested and a bidding war of sorts for the player ensues. It seems a remote possibility given there’s only a couple of weeks until the close of the summer transfer window and everyone is aware of Barcelona’s financial woes.
Ilaix Moriba burst onto the scene last season after being given his debut by Ronald Koeman. The Dutchman counted on him for this season but all signs point to Ilaix playing somewhere other than the Camp Nou.