Barcelona ‘believe Clasico rivals Real Madrid are behind breakdown in negotiations over new deal for Ilaix Moriba… but cash-strapped Catalan giants are still hopeful agreement can be found with wonderkid’
- Ilaix Moriba has entered the final 12 months of his contract at Barcelona
- The 18-year-old has yet to agree fresh terms despite talks reportedly being held
- But reports now claim Barcelona suspect Real Madrid are trying to tempt him
- Moriba broke into the Barcelona first-team in 2020-21, making 18 appearances
The 18-year-old has entered the final 12 months of his deal at Camp Nou and despite reports last month the Catalan side were set to hold talks with him and offer the midfielder a three-year deal, he has yet to commit his future.
Reports also suggest Moriba – who has also been linked with the two Manchester clubs and Chelsea – has been told he will not be allowed to take part in pre-season with the rest of the first-team squad as long as a contract standoff remains.
Barcelona suspect Real Madrid are behind their failure to tie Ilaix Moriba down to a new deal
Moriba has reportedly been told he cannot train with the first-team in pre-season as long as he does not sign
But according to Goal, the Catalan giants believe their Clasico rivals have had a part to play in the breakdown in negotiations between the two parties, and are planning to tempt the La Masia graduate to the Spanish capital.
But the report adds representatives of the Guinea-born star deny that claim, with any move to Madrid considered to be ‘very difficult’, not least due to the acrimonious history between the club which stretches back decades.
The Catalan side – despite their need to reduce their wage bill to ease their financial woes – however are still keen to tie Moriba down to fresh terms despite the obstacles they have met so far with his agents in agreeing a new contract.
But should he make the move to Madrid, he would join a list of more than 30 players including the likes of Luis Figo, Ronaldo Nazario and Samuel Eto’o to have represented both sides of the Clasico divide.
But Goal claim Barcelona believe arch rivals Madrid are trying to tempt him to the Bernabeu
There have been suggestions that Moriba’s wage demands are excessive, but Barcelona are desperate to avoid a scenario that would allow him to discuss a pre-contract agreement with non-Spanish clubs from January 2022.
Moriba broke into the Barcelona first-team in the 2020-21 season as he made 18 appearances across all competitions, scoring once and providing three assists.
According to Mundo Deportivo, United did make a ‘firm offer’ for Moriba, who has represented Spain at Under-17 level.
Moriba has a buy-out clause of £86m and has worked his way through the ranks at Barcelona’s academy having joined the club at the age of seven.
Moriba broke into the Barcelona first-team in 2020-21, scoring once in 18 appearances