Barcelona Youth Academy player

Barcelona Youth Academy player set to replace contract rebel Moriba

Barcelona Youth Academy player set to replace contract rebel Moriba. According to recent reports, Barcelona is looking to replace Ilaix Moriba with academy graduate Nico Gonzalez. Barcelona’s midfield has a lot of quality. Sergio Busquets playing as the pivot, with Pedri and Frenkie De Jong on each side is a very strong midfield. But with Busquets far from his prime at 33 and Pedri overworked since last season, this midfield is strong only on paper.

While Riqui Puig is an amazing option for the midfield, he is not Koeman’s favourite. He struggled the whole of last season to get minutes under the Dutchman and it does not look like the situation will improve anytime soon.

Due to this Ilaix Moriba was chosen as the fourth midfielder in the squad. But all the news surrounding his exit, Koeman is looking to use Nico Gonzalez as his additional midfielder this season.
Barcelona to use Nico Gonzalez this season as Ilaix Moriba eyes exit?

After watching him in a friendly, Koeman has been thoroughly impressed with the youngster and will give him first-team numbers this season.

Nico had an amazing pre-season with the senior squad recently and was handed his debut for the senior team in the opening fixture against Real Sociedad. He replaced Busquets in the 83rd minute and gave a decent account for himself before wrongfully giving away a free-kick that led to Mikel Oyrazabal’s goal.

With Riqui Puig, not even called up for warm-up and Miralem Pjanic heavily linked with a move away from the club, this is Nico Gonzalez’s chance. It’s a make or break opportunity for him. This can be the season he becomes the next La Maisa graduate the fans sing about or he can be another player who fails to make it big.
Next: Philippe Coutinho to get one final chance at Barcelona

The opportunity is up for him to grab, it is up to him to make the most of it. Whatever it may be, Nico Gonzalez is one to keep an eye out for this season.

The pain and sorrow of Lionel Messi’s departure were alleviated to some extent by Barcelona’s victory over Real Sociedad last weekend. The Catalans looked in top form, convincingly winning the game at Camp Nou. Next up, a tricky test awaits Barcelona as they travel to San Memes to face Athletic Bilbao.

The Basque club have always posed a difficult challenge for the Blaugrana at the San Memes. Barca’s win against La Real was a collective effort and they will be hoping to replicate a similar performance and make two wins out of two in La Liga. On the other hand, Bilbao is searching for their first win of the season after drawing to Elche.

Ronald Koeman spoke to the press ahead of the game, explaining some of his key squad decisions. The Dutchman left Philippe Coutinho out of the squad as he feels that the Brazilian still lacks the physical rhythm to take part in the match.

Meanwhile, Pedri will be given a much-needed break after this game and will be hoping that Luis Enrique doesn’t call Pedri to the national team as the 18-year-old finally gets his much-needed vacation. Ansu Fati and Marc-Andre ter Stegen are in the final stages of their recovery but are still unavailable for the game.
Here is the Barcelona predicted line-up vs Athletic Bilbao:
Goalkeeper: Neto

In Ter Stegen’s absence, Neto will once again start in goal for Barcelona. The Brazilian has been linked with a Camp Nou exit, previously attracting attention from Arsenal but with the Gunners signing Aaron Ramsdale, Arsenal’s search for a goalkeeper has come to an end. Neto was decent against Sociedad and could have done very little to stop the two goals. The 32-year-old will have be vigilant against the likes of Inaki Williams and Oihan Sancet.

Not much has changed in the saga involving Barcelona and 18-year-old midfielder Ilaix Moriba. The latest development is the club has rejected a low offer for the player.

According to Sport, the Catalans rejected a bid of €5 million made by an unidentified Bundesliga side. They want at least €15 million fixed as well as a further five to 10 million in add-ons.
Barcelona has set a minimum offer they’d be willing to accept

Barcelona are unwilling to let Ilaix leave at any price but at the same time have grown pessimistic someone will come in with an offer to their liking.

The problem is other teams know the financial situation Barça face at the moment so teams coming in for the player hold higher leverage. Be that as it may, they are holding firm in their asking price.

What is clear is Barcelona are not going to make another bid for Ilaix. The last bid was their final offer and it is up to his representatives to accept it. There will be no more meetings between the two sides.

Ilaix is currently not part of the first team and is training with Barça B. He has not taken part in any of their preseason games nor will he feature once their season starts. He is set to be in the stands until someone comes in for him or he decides to change his mind.

He is facing a season in which he does not play at all but it is an option he and his representatives are willing to take. Their plan is to continue negotiating with other teams and then have something done by the time the winter transfer window opens and thus leave on a free next summer.

It is a possibility Barcelona are also aware of. Their reasoning is they hope their handling of Ilaix serves as a warning to other young players who may think about going this route.

So, the new era ushers in. Barcelona are now without their artist Lionel Messi but the canvas has to be painted. New artists must rise. The game against Real Sociedad showed a glimpse of what to expect from Barcelona in the upcoming season.

A Martin Braithwaite brace, Gerard Pique‘s poetic goal and Sergi Roberto’s late goal sealed the victory for the Catalans. The Blaugrana did falter a bit, late in the second half, after being 3-0 up, conceding two goals in three minutes. For brief five minutes, the deepest of despairs mingled with undying hope of La Real salvaging a result against Barcelona but Roberto killed every last bit of hope with his stoppage time goal.

Barcelona started strongly, displaying best bits of their football in the first half. Depay, Eric Garcia, Emerson Royal and Nico Gonzalez all made their Barcelona debuts. The Catalans won their first home game 4-2 in presence of fans, giving delight to the supporters who were unhappy with the departure of Messi. Barca now faces a tricky away trip to San Memes on 21st August.

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