Real Madrid have reportedly entered the race to sign Barcelona contract rebel Ilaix Moriba, who is also on the radars of Chelsea and Manchester City.
According to a report from Spanish publication El Gol Digital, Real Madrid are lining up a raid on arch-rivals Barcelona for the signing of teenage prodigy Ilaix Moriba, who is also on a transfer target for Chelsea and Manchester City.
Moriba, a product of Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy, burst into the first-team last term, making his debut in January earlier this year, from which point on he was used quite regularly by manager Ronald Koeman. The 18-year-old went on to make 18 appearances across all competitions in 2020/21, scoring one goal and setting up three more.
Regarded as one of the finest young talents to have come through the academy, Moriba’s journey at Barcelona may be coming to an end. The teenager is in the final year of his contract with the Blaugrana and talks over an extension have not gone smoothly, with the youngster rejecting the proposals made by the club as he seeks higher wages.
After multiple efforts, Barcelona are running out of patience and are now considering the prospect of cashing in on him before the end of the transfer window, piquing the interest of several clubs across Europe, with Chelsea and Manchester City among his suitors.
While Chelsea have one of the best midfield partnerships in N’Golo Kante and Jorginho, the former is into this thirties and has had injury issues of late, while there is not much cover beyond Mateo Kovacic. Billy Gilmour will have a role to play once he returns from loan next year. But in Moriba, the Blues will be getting a player who can make a contribution immediately and be ready to take over from Kante when the time comes.
Manchester City also need reinforcements in the middle to take the pressure off of captain Fernandinho, who is 36 years old and is in the final twelve months of his deal. While they have a readymade replacement for him in Rodri, more depth will be needed, especially with Ilkay Gundogan also not getting any younger, making Moriba a viable target for the Premier League champions.
However, both Chelsea and Manchester City will now have to face competition from Real Madrid, who have also registered an interest in the 18-year-old Barcelona starlet. It is no secret that the Merengues have been looking for reinforcements in the middle of the park all summer, as they seek a long-term replacement for Luka Modric who is approaching the final phase of his illustrious career.
The departure of Martin Odegaard to Arsenal has further accelerated the search for a new midfielder at the Bernabeu, with Moriba’s name being seriously considered. It is claimed that manager Carlo Ancelotti does not just see the teenager as just an option to plug a hole but believes that he can be a regular fixture in the side.
While are Barcelona are seemingly open to offloading him in case he does not agree terms on a new deal, it will certainly be interesting to see if they allow him to join a direct rival in Real Madrid. For now, Moriba’s future at Camp Nou continues to be uncertain.