Manchester City continue to target key talents from Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy, with a deal in the works to sign the ‘new Yaya Toure’ Moriba Kourouma, better known as Ilaix.
According to journalist Alan Nixon, City have set up a move for Kourouma for when he turns 16 next year, at which point Barcelona will be powerless to hold on to him – unless they convince him to sign a professional contract first.
Kourouma joined Barcelona when he was just 8, with he and his family moving over from Guinea-Bissau. His physique combined with the technique and skill taught in La Masia make him an ideal fit for the Premier League and City are willing to make a significant financial investment to lure him away from Catalonia.
According to the report, City ‘insiders’ are very confident that they will get the teenager and have a plan in place to fast-track him to the first team.
SPORT journalist Albert Rogé also backs up Nixon’s information, by saying an agreement is in place for Ilaix to join next January.
Como han contado hoy en Inglaterra, Ilaix Moriba (Cadete A) tiene un acuerdo cerrado para incorporarse al Manchester City el próximo mes de enero. No puede ahora ya que no tiene los 16. Otra baja más en la cantera #FCBMasia pic.twitter.com/GB6qaeMnAh
— Albert Rogé (@albert_roge) May 13, 2018
Barça’s reluctance to match the salaries English clubs offer to youth players mean they often see their talents poached, with the City Academy’s Players’ Player of the Year, Eric Garcia, arriving last year and flourishing in his new home.
City are also poised to sign another of Barcelona’s great young hopes, Adrià Bernabé, with the 16-year-old midfielder having an agreement in principle to join the Premier League champions at the end of the season.
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