Barcelona have turned down an offer from RB Leipzig for wantaway midfielder Ilaix Moriba, who continues to refuse to extend his contract at Camp Nou.
The highly-rated 18-year-old has entered the final year of his deal and is yet to show any sign of extending, with Barcelona banishing him to the reserves while they attempt to find a solution to this mess.
With just over a week remaining in the transfer window and Ilaix still refusing to sign, Barcelona‘s plan is to sell the teenager while they still can, and according to Sport, Leipzig have lodged a bid to try to lure him away.
The German side have put €8m (£6.8m) on the table, but Barcelona have turned it down as they hope to earn somewhere closer to €25m (£21.5m) – most of which they expect to be paid up front.
There’s no mention of whether Leipzig will return with that kind of money, but there are plenty of suitors who will now be considering getting their chequebooks out.
90min revealed earlier this month that Leipzig are one of a handful of European sides chasing Ilaix’s signature, with the player’s agents also reaching out to each of the Premier League’s big six to discuss a deal.
Sources close to the situation have confirmed that Barcelona’s contract offer to Ilaix remains on the table, but their proposal has fallen well short of what Ilaix is looking for – something manager Ronald Koeman bemoaned in Friday’s press conference.
“I spoke with him two or three weeks ago, more as a person than as a Barça coach,” Koeman said (via Mundo Deportivo). “For me, his situation is horrible.
“He’s a young player, 18 years old, he had the chance to play in the first team last season, he’s the future of the club. He’s in a situation where he’s not playing, he’s not with us.
“I know what the club wants to offer this player. My advice to any player is that the money is not the most important thing. The most important thing is to play matches. That’s my message to him.
“The player and his people have decided differently and I’m disappointed about this. I believe more in football things than in contracts. At 18 years old, money is not so important.”