OFFICIAL: Ilaix Moriba leaves Barcelona for RB Leipzig on permanent deal

Paul Macdonald
Moriba’s Man City move scrapped after cancelled plane ride to England

Barcelona youngster Ilaix Moriba has moved to RB Leipzig on a permanent deal, both clubs have announced.

A breakthrough talent last season for the Catalan giants, Moriba was fully expected to be a key cog for Ronald Koeman's men going forward.

But a contract dispute could not be resolved, with Barca threatening to leave him training with the youth team this season if he were unable to secure a move.

RB Leipzig had been tracking his progress and have announced the signing of the 18-year-old midfielder. The fee is thought to be in the region of €16m and he has signed a five-year deal.

According again to Moriba's father, Mamady Kourouma, former sporting director Eric Abidal and Jose Bakero were two figures who pushed for Moriba to be kept at all costs, as well as fighting for the implementation of his reported €100 million release clause.

“From the first day we sat down I said that I wanted my son to stay at Barca,” Kourouma said earlier this year.

“One day I got up and I went to La Masia without agents. I told them ‘I love Barca but you have to make an effort for Ilaix to stay’. We would have earned a lot more elsewhere. I knew that La Masia coaches wanted us and we wanted to stay. It was a hard situation.”

“Abidal and Bakero were key in Barca betting on my son. They helped us stay and convinced others that Ilaix should stay in Blaugrana.”

But the relationship between club and player soured over time with him allegedly asking for enhanced terms which would make him among the higher paid players at the club, something that Barcelona, in their current financial situation, could not agree to.

As a result Moriba will resurrect his career in the Bundesliga with RB Leipzig, a club with a history of developing young talent.