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Moriba returned at the gate of Etihad Stadium

Sun 14 March 2021 | 12:55

Barcelona’s wonderkid almost joined Manchester City but his family didn’t let him go.


young talent almost joined the Citizens, but his family convinced him to stay at camp Nou according to his father. The young talent’s father has revealed that they canceled a flight to Manchester to show how close

Ilaix Moriba

was to joining the English side.

The 18-year-old talent has made his debut for the senior team in Barcelona’s 2-0 victory over Osasuna on March 6, and he is considered as one the important players in the club’s next generation, although his father says that he almost left the club.

Mamady Kourouma told



“With Barca, the negotiations [over his first professional contract] did not advance. We met with Txiki Begiristain [Man City sporting director] and he explained his entire project to us. “

Manchester City’s interest in the young talent was because of his impressive physics and his reliable vision that reminds everyone of the other midfielder who joined the Citizens from Barcelona and won a lot of trophies with them, Moriba’s style is somehow similar to Yaya Toure, and Paul Pogba and the Citizens would like to have another Toure in their lineup, but Moriba chose to stay at Camp Nou despite the Citizens interest.

"We liked it because they bet a lot on him. A few weeks later we had the tickets to travel to Manchester and sign the contract.”

He added


"I cancelled it the morning that we had to go there. I wanted Ilaix to be an example and a reference for the next generations of Barca.

"His friends were gone. If he stayed, it was proof that Barca was betting on the youth players. We managed to reach an agreement where we all came out winning.”

Moriba came to Camp Nou in 2010 from a short spell in Espanyol and has made his way to the first team, with many pundits comparing him with Manchester United’s star Pogba because of his style and his abilities.

source: SportMob