Barcelona are fearful that Chelsea could blow them out of the water with an offer for talented midfielder Ilaix Moriba, according to reports close to the Catalan club.
Moriba has been in Barcelona’s youth setup since 2010 and has 18 first-team appearances to his name at present. All of those came last season, a campaign in which he also scored one La Liga goal. However, his time in Barca’s senior side may be short and sweet, as there is only one year left on his contract.
In the background, several clubs from across the continent have been taking an interest in the teenager. He has admirers in the Premier League, namely at Manchester City and Chelsea.
Thomas Tuchel’s side are the subject of the latest speculation coming from Barcelona-based source Sport. According to their report, the Camp Nou club “fear” Chelsea will put together a package to sign Moriba.
The Guinea-born ace has not agreed a renewal with Barcelona because of financial reasons. Chelsea, on the other hand, are in a much healthier position.
Therefore, it is speculated that the Blues could tempt him with wages treble the size of what Barca could offer.
His current club have some concerns that Chelsea may have already even sent a proposal to him, which is why he is delaying his renewal with them.
A separate report from Mundo Deportivo claims Moriba is now testing Barcelona’s patience. As such, they will give him until the end of the week to accept their renewal offer or else they will banish him to the B team.
Sport believe Chelsea are ready to step up their pursuit, but could even wait until next summer to sign him. There is a chance he will be a free agent by then, but Chelsea should still be an attractive destination despite the prospect of the competition for his signature increasing.
Alternatively, they could accelerate their plans and move for him this summer. Their options in midfield are already stacked, but Moriba would give them something to work with for the future.
The chance to sign him for a cut-price fee – or even without a transfer cost – is one worth taking.
Chelsea looking to La Liga
After their victory in the Champions League, Chelsea are aiming to strengthen their squad for a Premier League title challenge.
They are aiming to bolster all departments, but one key area is the centre of defence. Tuchel has based his success since taking over in January on a back three. However, the cornerstone of that system, Thiago Silva, is getting towards the end of his career.
While Silva can be a strong option this season again, Chelsea will need a younger player to feature alongside him and then succeed him when the time comes to move on.
To that end, they are aiming high for one of the most promising defenders in Europe – once again from within La Liga. And according to a recent report, they have fresh reason to be optimistic…
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