Moriba has exploded into the La Blaugrana first team scene this season with seven appearances in all competitions and a first La Liga goal.
However, despite forming part of a core nucleus of young talent at the Camp Nou, including Ansu Fati, Oscar Mingueza, Pedri and Piqui Puig, the 18-year old’s situation could have played out very differently.
His father, Mamady, said that with negotiations of a contract extension for his son stalling ahead of the 2019/20 season, he received an offer from Premier League giants City.
“With Barca, negotiations were not advancing. We met Txiki Begiristain (City’s sporting director) and he explained the project to us,” he told an interview with Diario Sport.
“We liked it because they were betting big on Ilaix. A few weeks later we had our tickets to Manchester to go and sign the contract.
But I cancelled the trip on the morning we were supposed to go there.
“I wanted Ilaix to be a reference point for the upcoming Barca generations. If he stayed it would prove Barcelona bet on young players and we reached a deal where everyone won.
“From the first day I said that I wanted my son to stay at Barca.
“I told them, I love Barca but you have to make an effort for Ilaix to stay, we don’t want to leave
“We would have earned a lot more elsewhere but I knew the La Masia coaches wanted us and we wanted to stay. It was a hard situation.”
Moriba, whose parents are from Guinea and Liberia, has represented Spain at both U17 and U18 level during his rise to prominence in Catalonia.
However, he missed out on a place in Luis de la Fuente’s U21 squad for this summer’s U21 European Championships, but teammates Mingueza and Puig have been called up for the tournament.