Bundesliga News

ESPN and Transfermarkt Reports: Leipzig still have Barça's Moriba in sights

By Peter Vice

US Broadcaster ESPN reports that RB Leipzig, along with Manchester City, remain interested in FC Barcelona phenom Ilaix Moriba. 

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Photo: GEPA Pictures/Sven Sonntag

Reports that Manchester City and RB Leipzig were interested in snatching up 18-year-old Barça breakout midfielder are not new. What has changed drastically since such rumors began surfacing in March is the Guinean-born Spanish U17 midfielder's market value.

As recently as four months ago, the youngster's estimated market value sat at €5 million. Transfermarkt's appraisers now value Moriba at five times that amount. In a report appearing on transfermarkt's German website, relay information from US broadcaster ESPN that Barça wish to offload him at €15-20 million.

Transfermarkt's Spain Area Manager Tobias Blaseio explains in the article that Moriba's upshot in worth has led to exorbitantly high salary demands. The teenager sits on an expiring contract and is said to be pushing the Catalans hard for a hefty raise in the event of an extension beyond 2022.

Blaseio notes that, irrespective of whether Moriba or his agents are making these demands, newly re-installed club President Joan Laporta considers such requests to be totally out of line with the club's current financial situation. Moreover, the club cannot risk sending a message to the youth academy that large raises may be procured without sufficient long-term sporting evidence.

"Further cooperation [between club and player] looks extremely unlikely at the moment," Blaseio is quoted as saying.

It could conceivably be possible that clubs backed by corporate cash--such as City Football Group and the Red Bull GmbH, may be prepared to indulge the player and his agents. Moriba tallied only once in 18 appearances across all competitions, but consistently impressed with his play this year.

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