Barcelona wonderkid Ilaix Moriba rejected the opportunity to join Premier League giants Chelsea and Manchester City, instead deciding to pursue his dream of becoming a hero at Camp Nou.
The 18-year-old has been blooded into the Blaugrana squad under Ronald Koeman this year, and he has made seven league appearances under the Dutchman, including a cameo in the Clasico defeat to Real Madrid.
But Moriba's father has admitted that it could all have been so different for his son. Mamady Moriba told Ser Catalunya, as cited by Mundo Deportivo, that Ilaix rejected advances from Premier League duo Chelsea and Man City, as well as a bid from Juventus, as he insisted on making a name for himself at Barça.
“We said no to a lot of money because Ilaix wanted to play for Barça. We had offers from Chelsea, Manchester City and Juventus that were bigger than Barça, and I canceled a trip to Manchester because Barça made a strong bet.
"We’ll go to death with the Culés and we want to stay at Barça."
Mamady was full of praise for Barça coach Koeman, thanking him for the 'confidence' he has instilled in his son.
“I have no words to describe [Koeman], we have to thank him so much for everything he has done for Ilaix and all the confidence he has given him. Also thank you to the club and everyone who has helped Ilaix in all the years at La Masia.”
Moriba is the latest graduate from the famous Masia academy, and hopes are high for him to become a regular in the Barcelona midfield. He almost wrote his name into Clasico history in the recent 2-1 defeat in Madrid, rattling the crossbar with the last kick of the game.