Father of Ilaix Moriba admits he CANCELLED move to Man City

Father of Ilaix Moriba admits he CANCELLED move to Man City

Barcelona wonderkid Ilaix Moriba came within a whisker of signing for Manchester City until his father sought a drastic intervention, it has been revealed.

Moriba burst onto the scene last season under Ronald Koeman and became a fixture in the senior Barca side despite being just 18-years-old.

The all-action midfielder quickly became of the players to watch in La Liga, though his father has now admitted he had to cancel a flight to Manchester two years ago to prevent a move to the Premier League.

Moriba, who has played at youth level for Spain though is set to declare for Guinea, had found himself uncertain on whether to wait for a professional deal in Catalona.

City had placed lucrative terms on the table but the player's father, Mamady Kourouma, decided to take action to keep his son with one of Spain's biggest clubs.

He told Sport: 'With Barcelona, the negotiations did not advance. We met with Txiki Begiristain [City sporting director] and he explained his entire project to us.

'We liked it because they bet a lot on him. A few weeks later we had the tickets to travel to Manchester and sign the contract.

'I cancelled it the morning that we had to go there. I wanted Ilaix to be an example and a reference for the next generations of Barcelona.

'His friends were gone. If he stayed, it was proof Barca was betting on the youth players. We managed to reach an agreement where we all came out winning.'

Barca went on to reward Moriba by making him the highest paid star in the academy and fast-tracked him to the senior ranks.

Last season Moriba made 18 appearances in all competitions and scored his first goal in a 2-0 win against Osasuna.

With two seasons remaining on his senior contract Barca are keen to tie the starlet down, though so far talks have not been productive.

In a recent shock statement Barca president Joan Laporta revealed Moriba can leave after a row over his contract.

Moriba's deal is up in 2022 and the player is understood to be reluctant for Barca to add a release clause greater than £130million into fresh terms.

The Spanish giants are reported to be pushing for Moriba to have a clause closer to the eye-watering £343m which is found within the contract of fellow starlet Ansu Fati.
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