RB Leipzig have completed the signing of Ilaix Moriba from Barcelona for £14million. The 18-year-old joined the Bundesliga side on the transfer deadline and will continue his development in Germany after rejecting a move to Tottenham.
The Guinean was heavily linked with Tottenham in the last few days of the window but signed a five-year contract at RB Leipzig instead. According to reports in Spain, Moriba chose Leipzig over Tottenham because he could play Champions League for Marco Rose’s side. Spurs, who finished in 7th place last season, are competing in the Europa Conference League while Leipzig finished second in the Bundesliga.
The youngster was considered a future star at Barcelona after breaking into the first-team set-up last season. But he failed to agree on a contract extension, and as a result, he was frozen out of both the first-team and reserves at the Catalan club.
Speaking after completing the deal, RB Leipzig’s commercial director of sports Florian Schulz said:
‘We have been able to land an exceptional talent in Ilaix Moriba.
‘We are very proud that he has chosen RB Leipzig, despite many offers from several top clubs in Europe.’
The Bundesliga side finished second last season to ensure entry to the Champions League, while Spurs only finished seventh in the Premier League.
Moriba featured 14 times for Ronald Koeman last season and was expected to be part of the first team this season. The midfielder was also linked with Chelsea and Manchester City.
Meanwhile, Sky Sports Italy reports that Barca were keen on signing Leipzig star Dani Olmo but could not price the Spain international out of the German club who want to keep the player for another season after losing Marcel Sabitzer to Bayern Munich this summer.
The last few months have been the most difficult of my life, we have received ugly messages but we have been able to endure to be here, I did not deserve those messages…
Many things have been said that are not true and we had to keep quiet because of the respect we have for Barcelona, things that have been said in the press have not been fair, many lies have been told…
I will always have Barcelona in my heart, I wish Barcelona and all the young players the best, especially Ansu, I have seen that they have given him the number 10 and he is the right one to take it and give it to. I wish him the best…Ilaix Moriba on Barcelona departure