Tottenham and Barcelona transfer talks reach ‘advanced stage’ as Chelsea deal hijacked

Nuno delighted Harry Kane staying at Tottenham

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Tottenham are in position to hijack Chelsea’s negotiations for Barcelona’s highly-rated midfielder, Ilaix Moriba. Reports had suggested that the Blues were closing in on the teenager, whose situation is unsettled in Catalonia, but Spurs could pull off a late swoop to complete their fourth major signing of the summer.

Moriba is one of the crown jewels of Barca’s famed La Masia academy, which has produced the likes of Lionel Messi, Xavi and Pep Guardiola over the years.

Still just 18-years-old, he has already clocked up 40 senior appearances in the heart of midfield.

In an exciting turn of events for Spurs fans, Calcio Mercato claim that Barcelona are in ‘advanced negotiations’ with the north London side to thrash out a deal for their young star.

Other reports had suggested that Moriba was nearing a move to Stamford Bridge, although the fact that two of their midfielders, Jorginho and N’Golo Kante, were both recognised with prestigious UEFA awards this week could have told the youngster all he needed to know.

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At Spurs, he would likely get a lot more time on the pitch, particularly with the future of midfielder Tanguy Ndombele in doubt.

Whether sporting director Fabio Paratici can stretch to meet Barca’s £17million asking price is another matter, given that proceeds will no longer be raised this summer by selling Harry Kane to Manchester City.

Moriba’s relationship with Barcelona has gone stale in recent weeks after an ill-timed wage dispute.

The Catalan side’s financial woes have been well-publicised over the past few months, leading to the tearful departure of club icon, Lionel Messi.

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Clearly upset with the conduct of Moriba, Barca boss Ronald Koeman had his say: “I spoke with him two or three weeks ago. More as a person than as a coach.

“His situation is horrible. My advice is that money is not the most important thing at this stage of his career. It is playing games.

“I am very disappointed because it is not the most important thing.”

Since settling into their respective roles in north London, Paratici and Nuno Espirito Santo have been active in the summer transfer market as Spurs embark on a squad revamp.

Three senior players have already been signed in Bryan Gil, Pierluigi Gollini and Cristian Romero, although that has not slowed their interest in other targets as deadline day draws nearer.

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Nuno has made an impressive start to the season, putting maximum points on the board after notching two wins from two.

With Kane side-lined due to match fitness concerns, Spurs ground out successive 1-0 wins against defending Premier League champions, Man City, and Nuno’s former side, Wolves.

Following that up with a signing like Moriba would be a real statement of intent from Tottenham, who would have a player with limitless potential on their hands. 

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