If a report from the Spanish outlet Fichajes is believed to be true, Manchester City have registered interest in Barcelona teenager Ilaix Moriba. The highly-rated midfield ace has an array of suitors, including Chelsea and Man City.
Although the Catalan side are desperate to retain their prized asset, the contract talks have not progressed much despite prolonged negotiations. The youngster got promoted to the senior set-up earlier this year and was deployed 18 times across competitions. He played his part against heavyweights like Real Madrid, Paris St-Germain and Atletico Madrid. Still, the club’s bizarre call of separating him from first-team training has now fueled speculations with less than a year left on his Barca deal.
This has alerted the English giants, who have kept close tabs on the 18-year-old for quite some time. Moriba’s father revealed that he visited City’s facilities before deciding that the player should stay put at Camp Nou for the time being. However, the proposals from City, Chelsea and Juventus were ‘bigger‘ than Barcelona and the reported €6m per year offer has convinced the midfielder to ply his trade at Manchester.
The Cules are undergoing financial turmoil that has seen them missing out on an array of transfer targets. Lionel Messi has reportedly accepted a significant salary cut, whereas the Blaugrana are attempting to offload the outcasts. The purpose is to clear the wage bill, and therefore, they are not in a position to meet Man City’s offer, which is twice the amount Moriba is currently earning at his boyhood club.
Why Manchester City Should Secure The Services Of Moriba
Pep Guardiola witnessed the epitome of success as Barca boss and is well aware of the talent pool of La Masia. The current City boss progressed through the same academy ranks during his playing days. Despite having İlkay Gündoğan, Fernandinho, Rodri and Kevin De Bruyne in his midfield ranks, the gaffer must start recruiting long-term replacements for the superstars over 30.
At 36, Fernandinho is just a sporadic option in the centre of the pitch. Also, the likes of De Bruyne and Gündoğan are already in their thirties. The pair would perform at their peak for a couple of seasons more, and a squad role, for now, should see Moriba settling down and securing a starting status in a few years time.
The young ace is rated for his physicality, dribbling and passing traits, along with the ability to carry the ball forward from the deep areas of the field. His style of play fits into Guardiola’s vision, and the Citizens, thus, should step up the chase for one of the most promising prospects of the future generation.
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