FC Barcelona

Barcelona 'accept defeat' in attempt to keep Ilaix Moriba

Tom Gott
Ilaix's contract is winding down
Ilaix's contract is winding down / Quality Sport Images/Getty Images
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Barcelona no longer believe they will be able to convince young midfielder Ilaix Moriba to stay at Camp Nou and expect to sell him in the coming weeks.

The 18-year-old has entered the final 12 months of his contract and has snubbed the chance to sign an extension, despite Barcelona's attempts to put pressure on him by banishing him to the reserve squad.

Ilaix Moriba
Ilaix has been banished from the first team / Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Club officials have made several offers to Ilaix, but according to Mundo Deportivo, the player's agent is simply ignoring them now. It has been nearly two weeks since Barcelona's last offer of a new deal, and despite their best efforts, they are still yet to get a response.

Barcelona had set a deadline of Sunday for this latest offer, and Ilaix's lack of response has been read loud and clear. The belief is that he would have made far more of an effort to stay if he actually wanted to, so those in charge have now accepted defeat.

The hope is now that Ilaix's agent can find him a new home. Barcelona are more than happy to leave him rotting in the reserves for another 12 months, but they acknowledge that it is in everybody's best interests if he is sold in the coming weeks.

As far as suitors go, it's Chelsea who are named as the leaders of the race. The Blues have tabled a 'dizzying offer' for the 18-year-old and hope to lure him over to Stamford Bridge before the summer comes to an end.

The report also claims there is interest from Manchester City, Marseille and a handful of Bundesliga sides, while Manchester United are known admirers of Ilaix as well.

Barcelona are simply waiting to hear from Ilaix's agent, whom they expect will present the club with the offer of a transfer in the near future.

Ilaix Moriba
Chelsea are chasing Ilaix / Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Those in charge believe that Ilaix's hesitance over signing a new deal is simply a tactic to buy him more time to negotiate with other sides. Both Real Madrid and Chelsea have been suggested as distractions for the young midfielder, although there is no real logic behind those accusations.

With just a few weeks to go until the closure of the transfer window, it seems like we might be close to the end of this saga. Unfortunately for Barcelona, it's likely not going to be the ending they were hoping for.

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