Barcelona's Ilaix Moriba LEFT OUT of reserve team's squad for friendly

Barcelona midfielder Ilaix Moriba LEFT OUT of reserve team’s squad for friendly match as club play hardball in contract negotiations…a day after president Joan Laporta said the club had to ‘send a message’ to 18-year-old

  • Barcelona midfielder Ilaix Moriba was dropped by the reserve team for a friendly
  • Moriba, who played 14 LaLiga games last season, is yet to sign a new contract
  • President Joan Laporta said the stand-off with Moriba left him with ‘a bad taste’

Barcelona’s attempts to sign promising young midfielder Ilaix Moriba to a new contract took an unexpected twist after the club’s reserve team left him out of the squad for a pre-season friendly.

Moriba, who made 14 LaLiga appearances last season for Barca, was included in the B team’s (reserve) squad for a training camp in Vall d’en Bas, Catalonia.

But the 18-year-old was left out of the matchday squad for a friendly against UE Olot in what has been perceived as a powerplay by Barca in tense contract negotiations.

Barcelona midfielder Ilaix Moriba was left out of the reserve team’s squad for a friendly game

The move is being described as a powerplay from Barca in tense contract negotiations 

Moriba made the step up from Barca’s reserve team to the first team last January and really impressed Ronald Koeman in the latter half of the campaign, earning four league starts and scored his first league goal in a 2-0 win at Osasuna.

But he has rejected Barca’s latest offer of a new contract, with his current deal running to 2022.

Barca president Joan Laporta said on Monday that Ilaix did not want to renew his contract but the club were not willing to give in.

‘We hope that we don’t get a repeat of the Ilaix case, he is a player with one year left on his contract and he doesn’t want to renew,’ Laporta told reporters at the presentation for new signing Emerson Royal.

‘It’s a situation that we won’t accept and we have to act and send out a message. 

‘He is a great player but if he doesn’t want to renew there are other solutions. 

President Joan Laporta said Barca had to ‘send a message’ that they will not be messed around

‘We don’t want homegrown players who are down to one year on their contract and who don’t want to renew. 

‘It leaves a bad taste because of what a quality player he is but the club has to come above everything else and we cannot get into tugs of war like this. I would like for him and his representatives to reconsider.’

Barcelona-based newspaper Mundo Deportivo said Barca believe Moriba is biding him time to renew his contract because he is close to signing a deal with another club.

But Barca are adamant that they will only let him join another team for the right price and they will not be backed into a corner because he does not have a concrete offer yet.

The report added that Barca believe Moriba and his agent are negotiating with Chelsea with a move to join the Premier League side on a free transfer in 2022, getting a higher salary and sign-on bonus as a result in addition to a ‘succulent commission’ for his agents and the player’s father.

Moriba revealed last week he had received racist messages on social media following reports of the contract stand-off. 

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