Barcelona wonderkid Ilaix Moriba ‘rules out’ Chelsea or Tottenham transfer

Barcelona midfielder Ilaix Moriba has reportedly drawn interest from a number of Premier League clubs, but the 18-year old appears to be keen on a move elsewhere

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Barcelona wonderkid Ilaix Moriba has reportedly turned down the chance to join Chelsea or Tottenham in the hopes of a move to RB Leipzig.

Moriba has been frozen out at the Catalan giants after a contractual dispute which has seen him demoted to the reserves.

The highly rated 18-year-old midfielder has just 12 months remaining on his current deal at Barcelona.

According to Spanish outlet Sport, Spurs are interested in signing Moriba, but the 18-year-old wants to move to Bundesliga side Leipzig.

The north London club have freed up space for Moriba after offloading Moussa Sissoko to Watford last week for a fee of around £2.5million.

Barcelona midfielder Ilaix Moriba wants to leave the club

The injury to record-signing Tanguy Ndombele means Nuno Espirito Santo only has Giovani Lo Celso, Pierre-Emile Hojberg and Harry Winks as midfielders available for selection.

Football journalist Fabrizio Romano has insisted Moriba has agreed a five-year pre-contract deal with Leipzig, which would see him join the club next summer.

The Sun say Spurs are willing to meet Barcelona’s £17million asking price to see Moriba join them in the current window – but the player’s agents are keen on him moving to the Bundesliga.

Barcelona may be more keen to cash in on Moriba, rather than risk trying to persuade him to stay, given the club’s ongoing financial difficulties.

The club’s economic situation is so severe that they were unable to re-sign Lionel Messi this summer after his contract expired in June.

It has been reported recently that the club are still desperate to offload a number of players including Samuel Umtiti, Miralem Pjanic and Phillipe Coutinho to ease financial concerns.

Moriba has been linked with a move to the Premier League

Moriba made his La Liga debut for Barcelona in February, when he came off the bench in a 5-1 win against Alaves.

The youngster went on to make 14 league appearances in the previous campaign, but hasn’t played a single minute so far this season.

Moriba was set to feature for Barcelona B in the third tier, but the midfielder has also been omitted from that squad.

Tottenham are reportedly keen on signing the 18-year-old

The 18-year-old has earned five caps for the Spain Under-17 side, but has since elected to switch international allegiance to Guinea.

When asked about the Moriba saga, Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman described the situation as “horrible”.

“Ilaix’s situation is horrible,” said Koeman last week. “My advice is that money cannot be the most important thing for an 18-year-old. It’s about playing games. But the player and his camp think differently. I am disappointed.

Meanwhile, Barcelona president Joan Laporta also shed light on the situation last month.

“He has one year left on his contract and does not want to accept the club’s conditions,” said Laporta.

“We do not accept that and we want to send a message to the team. If you do not want to renew, there are other solutions.

“I would like you [Moriba] to think again. We cannot allow him to be promoted [to the first-team] and then leave. We won’t accept that with any player.”

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