Ilaix Moriba’s father has admitted there is plenty of interest in the Barcelona youngster but says the midfielder is hoping to stay at the Camp Nou and is committed to the club.
The 18-year-old has impressed after breaking into the first team this season but is out of contract in 2022 which means there has been speculation over his future. The Catalan giants are reportedly keen to tie the teenager down to a new contract, according to Mundo Deportivo.
Moriba’s father, Mamady, has told Cadena SER that there has been interest in the youngster from top clubs around Europe but his focus is solely on staying with Barcelona.
“We had offers from England and Juve, with City there was a meeting scheduled, there was money,” he said. “But we want to succeed in Barcelona. Madrid? Let’s talk about something else. We are focused on Barça. We’re not in a hurry. The future depends on the club. We are doing well here. I’m very grateful to Barça, we have a good relationship with Ramón Planes and Bakero.”
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Gratitude to Koeman
Moriba’s father has also expressed his gratitude to coach Koeman for giving his son first-team chances this season. The midfielder has made eight appearances in all competitions, scoring once and picking up two assists.
The youngster is part of a talented raft of youngsters in and around the first team at Barcelona at present, and the midfielder’s father feels Koeman deserves praise for the faith he has shown in Moriba.
“We want Ilaix to be an example of La Masia, that’s why we renewed back in the day. I have no words for Koeman, we thank him for giving him the opportunity to play at a team like Barça,” he added. “We have to thank him very much.”
Koeman has not been afraid to use Moriba in key games this season. The 18-year-old has featured against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League last 16, against Real Madrid in El Clasico and played against Sevilla in the Copa del Rey semi-finals.
Pogba Comparisons Played Down
Moriba has been compared to Manchester United and France midfielder Paul Pogba during his career, but his father has played down those remarks. Mamady feels that his son is more similar to Barcelona team-mate Sergio Busquets.
“Ilaix is compared with Pogba, with Touré, with Busquets,” he explained, “We’re very grateful but Ilaix is Ilaix. I’m left with the comparison with Busquets, who’s a phenomenon and I wish Ilaix could follow the same path at Barça.”
There’s no doubt that Moriba has had an impressive impact at Barcelona this season and looks set to be promoted to the first-team squad for 2021-22.
The talented youngster has appeared completely at home in the first team whenever he’s featured, despite his lack of top level experience, and Barca must surely be keen to secure the rising star’s long-term future as quickly as possible.
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