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Arsenal Set to Miss Out on Barcelona Starlet; Another Case of ‘What Could Have Been’ is It ?

Ilaix Moriba

The transfer window is set to close in less than a day. All the clubs are busy making the final touches to their squad to achieve the targets set for this season. Arsenal have signed two midfielders this season – Albert Sambi Lokonga and Martin Odegaard. The club are looking to sign another central midfielder and have been linked with several players, one of them being Barcelona starlet Ilaix Moriba.

Ilaix Moriba
Image Obtained via Marca

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Earlier this month, representatives of Moriba held talks with several top European clubs regarding his future. This includes Premier League’s traditional big six clubs, RB Leipzig and Dortmund from Germany as well as Ligue 1 clubs Lyon and Monaco.

The current contract of the 18-year-old starlet is up next year at Barcelona and the club did offer a new contract to the player. However, the highly-rated academy player has refused to extend his contract with the club. As a result, the Catalans have demoted the midfielder to the reserves. The teenager has been heavily criticised by many due to his standoff over contract talks with Barcelona, including manager Ronald Koeman.

To prevent Moriba from leaving for free, the Spanish club have agreed to sell the player and have set a valuation of around £12m to £18m for the player. Moreover, there is plenty of interest from across Europe for the Barcelona starlet.

According to 90min, Chelsea, Man City and Man United, all have held talks to acquire the player’s services. The talented teenager was also offered to Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur and they all have spoken with the player’s camp.

Previously, the Spanish giants were very reluctant to let go of the player, but fresh reports suggest that the player is set to leave Camp Nou before the transfer window closes and Arsenal are going to miss out on signing the La Masia starlet.

According to Goal, Barcelona have agreed on a deal with RB Leipzig for Ilaix Moriba. The deal is reported to be €16 million and €6 million in add-ons. The youngster has been permitted to travel to Germany for his medical and sign the final contract which is said to be a four-year deal with the provision of an extra year.

Amidst all the uncertainty over his future at the club, Ilaix Moriba decided to change his national team. He announced just more than a week ago that he will not play for the Spanish national team and will be representing Guinea – his country of birth. He has five appearances for Spain’s under-17 side.

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It seems like Arsenal will miss out on another great player. Bringing the player to Emirates would have been a great coup, given that how little RB Leipzig have to play to sign him. Ilaix Moriba is regarded as one of the most talented players to have graduated from the Barcelona academy in recent years.

Nevertheless, the Gunners have already signed two midfielders this season and gave Granit Xhaka a contract extension after talks with Roma failed. With Partey and Smith Rowe also present, the North London outfit are currently stacked with midfielders.

Stay tuned to know more about Arsenal transfers.

Abir Chaudhuri
A football fan who loves to write about the game.

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