Midfield sensation Ilaix Moriba has hinted at why he opted to sign for RB Leipzig despite emerging on the radars of Tottenham and Chelsea.
The 18-year-old is one of Europe’s most highly rated talents. Barcelona were reluctant to part ways with the Spaniard who has frequently drawn comparisons with Paul Pogba. However, his unwillingness to sign a new contract ensured an exit rose to the top of their agenda.
Spurs were in the mix for Moriba up until the latter stages of the window. However, a switch to Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig ultimately materialised.
Leipzig reportedly forked out an initial €16m prior to add-ons with Moriba signing a five-year deal running to 2026. Given his limitless potential, Barcelona insisted on the insertion of a 10 percent sell-on clause.
That came as a blow to the English suitors, though Spurs and Chelsea did secure deadline day deals from La Liga nonetheless.
Right-back Emerson Royal arrived in North London from Barcelona. The Blues, meanwhile, nabbed Atletico Madrid’s Saul Niguez on loan. The classy midfielder since spoke of a Thomas Tuchel promise as being a key factor behind his signing.
Signing Moriba would’ve rounded out a superb deadline day for the pair, but the teen star has since hinted at why he chose Leipzig instead.
Speaking to their official website, Moriba specifically cited the club’s attacking philosophy while insisting Leipzig – who hold a reputation for developing young talent – would be a perfect place to develop his career.
“I’m very happy to be able to join RB Leipzig,” said Moriba. “It’s a very exciting club, one that has always preferred to play attacking football, which fits perfectly to me.
“I’m confident that Leipzig is the right place for me to take the next step in my career and continue my development, which is what informed my decision.
“Now, my full focus is on settling in at the club, within the team and the city in order to be able to play to my best as quickly as possible. We have big goals this season and I can’t wait to take on this challenge at Leipzig.”
Leipzig chief Florian Schulz confirmed Moriba had attracted widespread interest from “top clubs in Europe”.
“We have been able to land an exceptional talent in Ilaix Moriba,” added Schulz. “We are very proud that he has chosen RB Leipzig, despite many offers from several top clubs in Europe, and that we were able to quickly convince him of our philosophy.”
Alderweireld admits Tottenham frustration factored into exit
Meanwhile, Toby Alderweireld has elaborated upon his motives for leaving Tottenham Hotspur in order to join Al-Duhail in Qatar.
He has no concerns about the move affecting his international chances, though. In fact, he is currently on duty with Belgium. While with the national setup, he has been speaking about his decision to switch Spurs for Al-Duhail. While not denying the financial benefits of such a move, the centre-back also pointed to family reasons.
“Well, I could hardly refuse this adventure,” he said in quotes carried by Het Laatste Nieuws and translated by Sport Witness. “Also financially, of course, I will not be silly about that.
“I have two children and at Tottenham I saw them very little. That hurt more and more. In Qatar I will see them more and that is very important to me. I want to see my children grow up and that can be done much better at my current club.
“At Tottenham it frustrated me that I had to leave my family behind too often. Sometimes we played three times a week, with a seclusion before each time. That started to wring more and more.”
Although Alderweireld has left behind European football, he has not noticed a significant drop in quality.
“The level in Qatar and at Al-Duhail is higher than I expected,” he added. “Of course, it is not the Premier League, but the level is better than expected.”
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