The Barcelona and Ilaix Moriba saga seems to have finally reached a conclusion, with the midfielder agreeing a long-term deal with German Bundesliga outfit Red Bull Leipzig. The only issue is, the current deal with Leipzig kicks in on the summer of 2022. It remains unclear if they will meet the La Liga club’s valuation and sign the midfielder this summer.
Barcelona were keen to hold on to the Spain youth international, who came up through the ranks at the famed La Masia academy. He featured 18 times under Ronald Koeman last season and was thought to be part of the manager’s plans for the upcoming campaign.
However, the player’s representatives refused Barcelona’s offer to extend Moriba’s contract beyond 2022. The Catalan club refused to meet the demands made by Moriba’s camp and after a number of meetings, it was concluded that both parties were unwilling to reach a compromise.
Barcelona value Moriba at around €15-€20 million (£12.8m-£17.1m) and have made it clear that they will not lower their valuation despite the midfielder being available on a free transfer next summer. They are ready to keep the player in the stands for the entirety of the 2021-22 campaign if need be before seeing him off in July next year.
Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur are said to have met the asking price, but Moriba was not keen to join the north London club. Instead, the 18-year-old has reached an agreement with Leipzig on a lucrative five-year deal, according to Italian transfer expert Fabrizio Romano.
“Tottenham are currently NOT in negotiations for Ilaix Moriba. RB Leipzig are working to complete the agreement with Barcelona,” Romano wrote. “Ilaix Moriba’s agents already have an agreement on a five-years contract with RB Leipzig for next year. Talks to anticipate the deal.”
Initially, there were multiple reports claiming that Leipzig had made an offer in the region of €6 million, which was rejected by Barcelona. The two clubs remain in talks, with a deal expected to be concluded before the transfer deadline on Tuesday.
Barcelona will be hoping the funds garnered in the sale of Moriba can help ease their financial troubles that has seen them not only lose Lionel Messi but also struggle to register all their new signings thus far.