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Negotiations between the Barcelona hierarchy and wonderkid Ilaix Moriba over a new contract have reportedly grinded to a halt and the Blaugrana have already pointed the finger at their most fierce rivals in Real Madrid.
According to a recent report from Goal, Barcelona believe that Los Blancos are behind Moriba's hesitation to commit his future to the Catalan giants on a long-term basis.
At just 18 years of age, Moriba is one of the most highly rated prospects to emerge from the famed La Masia academy, but is currently remaining coy over where he'll be playing his club football in the future.
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Moriba's contract sees him tied to the Camp Nou until the summer of 2022, meaning Barca are in the precarious situation of cashing in on him this summer if a deal can not be agreed upon, or face losing him for free this time next year.
Real Madrid's influence stems from the 13-time Champions League winners allegedly tempting Moriba with a more lucrative contract proposal.
However, any contact with Real has been denied by the player's representatives, who claim any deal with Carlo Ancelotti's side would be "very difficult".
Should Moriba stay at Barcelona? Give us your thoughts in the comments section
While those at the top of the Barca hierarchy remain hopeful a deal can be struck, one of the hottest properties in club football is keeping his cards close to his chest.
Barca have issued the teenager with an ultimatum, informing the star that he will be forbidden from working with the rest of the senior squad in pre-season for as long as he stalls over signing a new deal, ensuring that Ronald Koeman will plan for life without Moriba until an agreement can be found.
The level of investment that has already gone into Moriba's Barcelona future would suggest he is highly thought of at the Camp Nou, with the teenager signing a contract worth €1m back in 2019, the most money offered to an academy player.
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- Barcelona FC
- Real Madrid FC
- The Inside Track – Football
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