Transfer News: Chelsea, Manchester City make approach for Ilaix Moriba

Chelsea and Manchester City have reportedly made their respective approaches to Ilaix Moriba, who is in a contract standoff with Barcelona.

According to a report by Spanish outlet Fichajes, Ilaix Moriba’s future at Barcelona continues to get more uncertain by the day. Among his suitors in the summer transfer window are Chelsea and Manchester City, who have already approached him over a potential switch while being willing to offer him wages worth €6 million per year.

Ilaix Moriba joined Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy from Espanyol in 2010 and has, over the years, been considered as one of the best players in his age group. The 18-year-old received his big break in the first-team setup at Camp Nou last term, going on to feature 18 times for the Catalan outfit so far.

However, despite making quite an impression in his breakthrough campaign, the teenage prodigy is facing an uncertain future at Barcelona, owing to an impasse with the club over the terms of a new deal. With his current contract running out next summer. This has alerted a number of clubs, with Chelsea and Manchester City among those keen on signing him.

At Chelsea, Thomas Tuchel currently has just three central midfielders at his disposal, as far as the regulars are concerned. The likes of Ross Barkley, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Ethan Ampadu and others have all returned from their respective loan spells last term, but do not seem to be a part of Tuchel’s plans for the new season.

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As a result, Chelsea have been in the market for a midfielder this summer, with Declan Rice being one of their top targets. And Barcelona’s contract rebel Ilaix Moriba is also a viable target for the Blues as they can add more variety to their midfield unit, although they face stiff competition from Premier League rivals Manchester City in his pursuit.

Like Chelsea, Manchester City have also been linked with Rice, with Denis Zakaria another one of their targets this summer. However, a box-to-box midfielder could be the need of the hour amid question marks surrounding Bernardo Silva’s future at the Etihad. To that end, Moriba is an option worth considering.

The update, though, is quite bizarre, seeing as it suggests Chelsea and Manchester City would be willing to double his wages to around €6 million per year. That is a significant amount for a player still in his teens, and a figure that Barcelona are highly unlikely to match.

What now remains to be seen is if Chelsea and Manchester City do take their interest in the Barcelona contract rebel forward by making a move for him. For now, Moriba’s future at Barcelona is as uncertain as it has ever been amid a long-drawn contract standoff.

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