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FC Barcelona: That's why Ilaix Moriba almost ended up at Manchester City

The Spanish discovery Ilaix Moriba almost landed at Manchester City two years ago. The father of the 18-year-old from FC Barcelona, ​​Mamady Kourouma, revealed this to the Spanish newspaper Sports. The family had even already booked plane tickets to England. "I then canceled it the morning I left. I wanted Ilaix to be a role model for the next generations at Barcelona," he said.

Moriba made his professional debut for the Catalans this season under Ronald Koeman. The central midfielder is already being compared to Paul Pogba and Yaya Toure because of his physical qualities. It is precisely the similarities to the Ivorian, who spent successful years at ManCity, that made the Cityzens' interest in Moriba grow.

Moriba as a role model for future generations

A transfer almost came about as Barca and Moriba or his family could not agree on the first professional contract. "Negotiations with Barca just didn't move forward," said Kourouma. Therefore, there were talks with City's sports director Txiki Begiristain, who explained the plans with Moriba and the project in Manchester to the family.

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"We liked that because they promised a lot from him. A few weeks later we had the plane tickets to Manchester to sign the contract," recalled Kourouma. But it did not get to that. "If he stays, it will be proof that Barca are betting on the youth," he explains the considerations at the time: "We found an agreement that made us all winners."

In the Spanish league Moriba managed a rocket launch directly, in three games he was involved in three goals. Last week he made his Champions League debut in the second leg of the second leg at Paris Saint-Germain.