18-year-old midfielder wants to stay at La Liga amid Man United interest

Barcelona midfielder Ilaix Moriba is ready to turn down the overtures of Man United in favour of a prolonged remain at Spain. U19 Spain international is a product of the Blaugrana’s famed La Masia youth academy.

Moriba made his first-team debut in the campaign gone by under Ronald Koeman and enjoyed quite the rise of prominence during the latter stages of the campaign. Indeed, Ilaix saw plenty of game time late on in the 2020/21 campaign, more than senior footballers like Miralem Pjanic and Riqui Puig as well.

The 18-year-old midfielder finished the campaign with 14 games in La Liga (4 starts), contributing one goal and three assists in the process. Heading into the summer, though, the Spanish midfielder’s future had been cast into doubts as he was entering the final year of his deal with the Catalan giants.

This situation had prompted interest from several teams around Europe, including Man United. Red Devils have a stockpile of central midfielders as things stand, with Paul Pogba, Donny van de Beek, Scott McTominay, Fred and Nemanja Matic all options.

At the same time, teenager James Garner has also returned from his loan spell. However, Paul Pogba’s future at the club remains uncertain as he is ready to enter the last twelve months of his deal, whereas van de Beek could also be moved on after a disappointing debut campaign in England.

With Nemanja Matic not getting any younger either, there could be a case made for the arrival of a new midfielder, which would explain their interest in Ilaix. However, given his lack of experience, the Barcelona footballer would more likely have been seen as one for the future.