Chelsea are understood to be the “best placed” to take over the contract of Barcelona starlet Ilaix Moriba.
Moriba, 18, is a midfield player who is highly regarded in Catalonia. So much so that Barca have been locked in contract talks to keep the Guinea-born starlet.
So far though Moriba’s representatives have yet to agree a new deal, with his existing contract set to expire in June 2022.
Barcelona though are not prepared to wait much longer for Moriba to commit his future.
The La Masia academy product is testing the club’s patience and Joan Laporta has issued a firm reminder of the club’s stance.
“We do not want players who do not want to renew, it leaves a very bad taste”, as per Mundo Deportivo.
“But above all else, there is the club and you cannot make this type of move.”
Spanish newspaper AS report Moriba has been demoted to Barcelona’s B team.
However, Moriba was not in the starting XI nor on the substitutes’ bench in Barcelona B’s win over UE Olot on Tuesday.
It’s understood the club have taken a tough stance and Laporta has told the player to sign or leave.
“We will try to make sure that his case is not repeated anymore. He has one year left on his contract and does not want to accept the club’s conditions. We do not accept that and we want to send a message to the team,” said Laporta, via SB Nation reporter Reshad Rahman.
Barcelona’s hard line stance
“If you do not want to renew, we have other solutions. What we don’t want are players made at La Masia who don’t want to renew. He’s a player we’ve given opportunities, but the club is above all. I would like you [Moriba] to think again.
“We cannot allow him to be promoted and then leave. We won’t accept that with any player.”
That may well force Moriba, who has made 14 LaLiga appearances, into a move away from the club.
TodoFichajes suggest Moriba’s future right now is very far from Barcelona. And that Chelsea are “the best placed to take over the player’s services”.
Chelsea are reportedly willing to pay €15m to get the youngster to Stamford Bridge this summer. Barcelona for their part may well be willing to take that, rather than see him leave for a compensation fee.