Chelsea and Manchester City have allegedly made their respective approaches to youngster Ilaix Moriba, who is in a contract stalemate with Barcelona, according to a recent report by Spanish outlet Fichajes.
He joined the cub’s famed La Masia academy from Espanyol 11 years ago and has, over the seasons, been considered as one of the best youngsters.
The 18-year-old midfielder received his big break in the senior team setup at Camp Nou last season, going on to feature on 18 occasions for the Catalan outfit thus far.
However, in spite of making quite an impression in his breakthrough season, the teenage sensation is facing an uncertain future at Camp Nou, owing to an impasse with Blaugrana over the terms of a contract renewal.
With his existing contract running out next year. This has alerted a host of clubs, with the Blues and the Citizens among those keen on landing him.
At Chelsea, Thomas Tuchel, at this moment, has just 3 central midfielders at his disposal. The likes of Ethan Ampadu, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Ross Barkley and others have all returned from their respective loan stints last term, but don’t seem to be a part of the German’s plans for the new season.
As a result, the club have been in the market for a midfielder during this transfer market, with Declan Rice being one of Chelsea’s top targets.
And Blaugrana’s contract rebel Ilaix Moriba is also a summer target for the west Londoners as they can add more variety to the midfield unit, although they face stern competition from Pep Guardiola’s side in his pursuit.
Like Chelsea, the Citizens have also been linked with Declan, with Gladbach’s Denis Zakaria another one of their targets this summer. However, a defensive midfielder could be the need of the hour amid question marks over Bernardo Silva’s future at the Etihad. To that end, Ilaix is an option worth considering.
The aforementioned sides would be willing to double Moriba’s wages to around €6 million per season. That is a significant amount for such a young player and a figure that the Catalans are highly unlikely to match.
What now remains to be seen is if both clubs do take their interest in him forward by making a move for Moriba. For now, Ilaix’s future at Barcelona is as uncertain as it has ever been due to a long-drawn contract standoff.