Along with many (and much more) significant concerns with respect to the future of the club, one fairly trivial issue Barcelona are facing is with regards to 18-year-old Ilaix Moriba’s contract extension.
The La Masia graduate had been in line to receive a new deal that would have taken his stay at Camp Nou beyond 2022, but Barca’s current financial situation has forced them to make an offer that has displeased Moriba and his entourage. Talks have now broken down, and the situation has escalated to the point that club president Joan Laporta handed out an ultimatum last week.
“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.
“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.”
-Joan Laporta; source: Reshad Rahman via Barca Blaugranes
Amid this drama, Diario Sport and Mundo Deportivo have reported that Moriba’s head has been turned by an offer from Chelsea, and he is now waiting to come to Stamford Bridge, either this year, or on a free transfer next year (a bit like Xavier Mbuyamba last summer). Alongside Chelsea, the likes of Manchester City, Olympique Marseille, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich have been linked, and we are seemingly willing to offer as much as double of what Barcelona are offering. ESPN reports however that RB Leipzig have shown the strongest interest in recent days.
Either way, Moriba has already been ostracized from first-team training, and Barcelona now want to sell him this summer for €15-20m to prevent him from leaving for free next year. Meanwhile, Moriba is even willing to spend a season in the stands, so that he can depart on a free transfer and be in control of his future.