An update has emerged in Tottenham Hotspur’s pursuit of Ilaix Moriba…
According to Italian outlet Tuttomercatoweb, the north London side are the front-runners to sign the 18-year-old Barcelona prodigy before Tuesday’s transfer deadline.
This has been backed up by Calciomercato journalist Daniele Longo, who claimed that negotiations between Spurs and the La Liga giants are “at an advanced stage.”
Moriba is out of contract at the Nou Camp at the end of the season and has rejected their advances of a new deal, meaning they could be forced into a sale this week.
Barcelona are said to want around £13m for his signature.
Getting a promising talent from the La Masia academy for as little as £13m would be quite the coup for Spurs, especially as he’s valued at £22.5m by Transfermarkt.
The Guinea-born midfielder has already been compared to one huge name in Paul Pogba, which should provide some encouragement over his suitability to the Premier League.
“He’s physically very strong, but he’s also a very intelligent player,” claimed Denis Silva Puig, who coached Moriba in Barca’s youth set-up.
“Most people don’t appreciate this. Here he’s called the ‘[Paul] Pogba of Barca’ because he’s like a young Pogba, but also he is very, very intelligent—and that is his big potential. He is a top player, no doubt.”
Moriba only featured in 18 games for the Catalan outfit last season but managed to provide one goal and three assists, as per Transfermarkt.
Despite a lack of game time, he did perform to a very high standard as he averaged 1.2 key passes, 2.2 shots, 2.3 tackles and 3.2 dribbles per 90 minutes, via WhoScored, which would suggest that he’s an impressive box-to-box prospect that is very much in the mould of Pogba.
Another one of the teenager’s former youth coaches has tipped him to have a huge career.
“He has a quality that other No. 6s at Barca don’t have, though – he’s box-to-box. He’s very good in front of goal. He can pick up the ball and burst forward with it. He can create play. He’s good in the air. He’s very multifaceted. Apart from the fact that defensively he’s very aggressive. He’s a complete player,” claimed Oscar Hernandez.
“He is one of those players with characteristics to be on the first team. No doubt. He has extraordinary capacities, but let’s see.”
So, Paratici could be delivering Spurs a masterclass in the transfer window should he secure the hugely exciting Moriba for just £13m. Given Nuno Santo’s development of a player like Pedro Neto, he would surely love to have the Barcelona starlet at his disposal.
Spurs must look to tie this one up before it’s too late.