A remarkable story, surrounding the future of Barcelona starlet Ilaix Morbia, has come to the fore online on Friday.
Who is Ilaix?
18-year-old Moriba has long been viewed as one of the most gifted young talents on the books at the Camp Nou.
Having made his way through the club’s famed La Masia academy, the Spanish youth international was rewarded for a string of stellar displays at under-age level with his first-team debut in a La Liga meeting with Alaves this past February.
And to say that Moriba went on to take full advantage of the opportunity afforded to him would be putting it lightly.
The teenage sensation notched an assist versus Alaves, paving the way for a further 16 appearances over the course of the season’s run-in.
Moriba, when called upon, added some much-needed cutting edge to Ronald Koeman’s ranks in the middle of the park, with the Spanish talent boasting a whole host of impressive attacking talents.
His first-ever goal for the Blaugrana, versus Osasuna early in March, meanwhile, highlighted a number of the traits in question:
Oh my word… brilliant from Ilaix Moriba! 😱
What a way for the 18-year-old to get his first goal for Barcelona 🔥 pic.twitter.com/S6t4JyilwE
— Premier Sports 📺 (@PremierSportsTV) March 6, 2021
Blancos step in?
In turn, upon those in a position of power in Catalunya recently opening negotiations with Moriba’s representatives over a new contract, it was viewed as something of a formality that an agreement would swiftly be found.
This, however, has since proven far from the case.
As confirmed earlier this week, the midfielder, thus far, has knocked back Barca’s renewal efforts, with the club having responded by excluding their gifted young talent from all first-team activities.
And though confidence remains that an agreement between the parties will eventually be found, a concerning insight into the situation has today been provided.
The info comes courtesy of Goal.com, who have revealed that the Camp Nou hierarchy fear Moriba’s hesitance in committing to a new deal has come on the back of an approach from arch rivals Real Madrid.
The Spaniard’s representatives, for their part, have assured that this is not the case, but Barcelona nevertheless believe that Florentino Perez and co. are ‘tempting’ Moriba with a proposal of their own.
Barcelona believe Real Madrid are behind the stall in contract talks with Ilaix Moriba, Goal has learned 👀
The 18-year-old isn’t training with the senior squad while talks are up in the air 😟
However, his representatives deny being in contact with Real Madrid ❌ pic.twitter.com/mq77EPzLGK
— Goal (@goal) July 16, 2021