Barcelona are just ‘a step away’ from losing one of La Masia’s greatest hopes, Ilaix Moriba, with Manchester City one of two teams leading the race, Catalan newspaper SPORT reports.
There were reports in May that City had struck a deal for the 15-year-old to join the City Football Academy in January, but Barcelona were quick to deny those stories and everything went quiet.
According to SPORT however, Ilaix, who made his UEFA Youth League debut with Barcelona’s Juvenil A on Wednesday, already has one foot out of the La Masia door.
Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund are said to be the two clubs ‘most advanced’ of the many chasing Ilaix, having presented their projects to the youngster and his family. Both are said to have offered attractive deals both sporting-wise and financially.
Ilaix hasn’t completely ruled out a Barça stay yet and is willing to listen to what they have to say, but as SPORT reveals, Barcelona, who have become infamous for mismanaging their talented youth system of late, haven’t even made a proposal to the player’s entourage about extending his stay.
A midfielder capable of playing in several positions, Ilaix also has a great shot and is said to be a very complete player for his age. His future is likely to be cleared up by the end of the year, with City and Borussia Dortmund hoping that he will join their ranks when he turns 16 in January.
A growing number of top Barcelona prospects are choosing to continue their development at City’s state-of-the-art Etihad Campus, with Eric Garcia and Adrian Bernabe swapping Catalonia for Manchester recently, and both impressing at youth level.