Barcelona youngster has had offers from Man Utd and RB Leipzig

Paul Macdonald
Barcelona youngster has had offers from Man Utd and RB Leipzig

Barcelona youngster Ilaix Moriba has impressed since making his first-team debut in January and is already attracting admiring glances from overseas.

The 18-year-old featured from the off in the Copa del Rey tie with third-tier side Cornella and has gone on to make three more appearances since, laying on two assists for his teammates in games against Sevilla and Alaves.

Those impressive displays have seen the La Masia graduate linked with English giants Manchester United, as well as Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig. According to Mundo, Moriba has already had two firm offers from the respective clubs, who are reportedly keen to take advantage of the 18 months left the teenager has on his current contract.

How likely is Moriba to stay at Barcelona?

Barcelona’s dire financial situation is well known, with the Catalan club amassing a mountain of debts in recent years. Therefore, keeping hold of their most promising academy graduates would appear to be a sensible approach.

The Camp Nou outfit are going through a period of transition under Ronald Koeman. The Blaugrana have recovered from a slow start to the season to move up the second in the La Liga standings and within five points of league-leaders Atletico Madrid.

Koeman has placed a lot of faith in several youngsters throughout the campaign, with the likes of Riqui Puig, Sergino Dest and Pedri receiving significant game time despite the high demands placed under the former Southampton and Everton manager.

Mundo claim that Moriba wants to remain with Barca and play his part in the club’s comeback, but whether terms can be agreed over a new contract will decide how big a role he performs.

Could he be tempted by RB Leipzig or Man Utd?

Moriba wouldn’t be the first supremely talented teenager to depart five-time European champions in search of regular game time elsewhere. In fact, it’s a relatively well-trodden path, as the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Gerard Pique and Eric Garcia can attest.

At Leipzig, Julian Nagelsmann has established a reputation as one of the most exciting young managers in the game during his short time in management, and the appeal of working under his tutelage would surely be large for a player in Moriba’s mold.

The German title contenders have established a reputation for developing young stars in their short history, and it’s a status they share with United. Old Trafford has been home to many of the sport’s best young talent down the years, and Moriba would join an illustrious list of names.

However, it’s clear Spain under-18 international sees his immediate future with his boyhood club. It would take an astronomical contract offer or Barcelona’s refusal to extend his deal to prize him away.

FactIlaix Moriba
Age18
ClubBarcelona
PositionCentral midfield
Contract Expires20222
2020/21 Apps4