Barcelona take tough stance with Ilaix Moriba

Barcelona take tough stance with Ilaix Moriba. Barcelona president Joan Laporta is apparently running out of patience in an effort to get the club’s situation under control. Heading into the summer, everyone was aware of the task ahead and that difficult decisions were going to have to be made. Initially, it was assumed those decisions would revolve around players the club wanted to sell. That is no longer the case.–167907938/–167907938/–167907938/–167907938/–167907938/–167907938/–167907938/–167907938/–167907938/–167907938/–167907938/–167907938/

The Barcelona-Moriba situation takes a rather unfortunate turn

Barcelona has issued an ultimatum to Ilaix Moriba. The midfielder is currently in the middle of a contract negotiation as his current deal expires in 2022.

With an agreement yet to be reached, the club is prepared to take drastic action to entice Moriba to sign a new deal.

According to Sport, that action is to threaten him with a severe demotion if he does not sign. In effect, either he inks a new contract or he will be sent down to play with the Juvenil team, which is a level down from Barça B.

Moriba was supposed to take part in preseason training with the first team but was left out because he had not signed an extension. Now he may not even feature with Barça B.

Whether or not trying to exert that kind of pressure on an 18-year-old will work out remains to be seen.

His camp was surprised at the position taken by the club when he was left out of preseason training with the senior team and will likely be more surprised by the latest development.

Moriba’s representatives did meet with Barcelona earlier in the week to discuss a new contract but nothing came of it. They are set to meet again with the hope of reaching a resolution.

Manager Ronald Koeman gave Moriba his debut last season and became an important player him. He was given opportunities over others like Riqui Puig and Miralem Pjanić.

If Barcelona’s stance does not work, they may be forced to sell him to avoid losing him after his contract expires. Given his trajectory and potential, if it comes to that, there won’t be a shortage of suitors.It appears that a trade deal between FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid is imminent. Antoine Griezmann will return to the team where he became a household name, and Barcelona will receive a versatile, albeit recently underperforming Saul Niguez, along with some money.

The deal is clearly one that is a necessity rather than a luxury. Barcelona was always going to have to offload Griezmann, regardless of his performances. The Frenchman is the second-highest earner in the squad right now and is eating up a huge amount of wages.

With an attack that is already overloaded with the likes of Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, and Memphis Depay, not to mention a returning Ansu Fati, Griezmann would have been surplus to requirements.

The fanbase is split down the middle over this deal, with there being no consensus opinion on it. With that in mind, it seems best to look at the positives and negatives to come out of this deal for Barcelona.

Getting rid of a huge wage earner in Antoine Griezmann

Antoine Griezmann struggled in his first season at Barcelona. His second run with the team proved a lot better, with the Frenchman becoming the second-highest goal contributor in the team. But his returns do not justify his exorbitant wages.

Griezmann earns close to €45 million in annual salary from Barca. Offloading him will be a major relief to a wage bill that needs to be reduced to comply with the La Liga salary cap. The cap has been one of the biggest issues for Joan Laporta, as he must significantly reduce it before re-signing Leo Messi and registering the new signings made.

Plus, Griezmann is 30 years of age. He is still in elite shape and performing at a high level. But naturally, his body will start to give way, and Barcelona would be foolish to honor his contract going further.

Direct rivals further bolstered

Let me say two names – David Villa and Luis Suarez. Both players were let go by Barcelona to Atleti for meagre prices. And both players ended up contributing to Atletico’s two title wins over the last decade.

Griezmann could do the same. If anything, he will have a greater advantage having been part of the Atleti system for so many years. Pairing him with Luis Suarez, who showed that he can still bang in the goals, is strengthening a direct La Liga rivals who are already a cut above Barcelona.

Simeone knows exactly how to use Griezmann, and his defensive work rate will put him above Joao Felix in the squad. This could end very badly for us in the league.

Saul fits the profile that Koeman wants

Saul Niguez is a solid player. Last season was a struggle for him, but there is clear quality. Furthermore, he gives something completely different on the pitch. Look at past deals such as Paulinho and Vidal. The former is a bit of stretch, but both brought a physical presence and dynamism that the midfield didn’t have.

Furthermore, Ronald Koeman wants a player of that profile, especially after missing out on Gini Wijnaldum to PSG. Niguez is younger, has La Liga experience, and crucially has big-game experience, thanks to Atletico’s Champions League campaign in 15-16.

Niguez would be a huge help in the midfield, but…

How many are too many midfielders for Barcelona?

Last season, one of the biggest talking points was how the midfield potential of Barcelona was not getting enough attention. Koeman insisted on starting Frenkie De Jong, Sergio Busquets, and Pedri. All three players showed why he was right to do so. But players like Riqui Puig didn’t get an opportunity to show what they can do.

Yes, Niguez brings dynamism, but he is yet another obstacle for the likes Puig, Moriba, and other aspiring stars to overcome. And his profile will ensure that he gets plenty of playing time under Koeman.

Here is hoping that Koeman can use the versatility and depth in midfield to his favor, rather than being over-reliant on certain stars.

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