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SPORTS UPDATE

Ex-Barca midfielder Moriba joins Valencia on loan

Former Barcelona midfielder Ilaix Moriba has joined Valencia on loan from Leipzig, the Spanish club announced on Friday.

The 19-year-old Moriba will play for Valencia until the end of the season and could face Barca when the teams meet at Mestalla in La Liga on February 20.

Moriba left Barcelona for Leipzig last year after controversially deciding not to extend his contract at Camp Nou, which was due to expire this summer.

The midfielder, who came through Barcelona’s famed La Masia youth system, instead opted to move to Leipzig for an initial 16 million euros, but has played only twice in the Bundesliga this season.

Moriba was given his Barcelona debut by Ronald Koeman last year and went onto play 18 times for the first team.

Valencia will hope his arrival can help their pursuit of qualifying for Europe this season.

They sit 10th, seven points behind fourth, and coach Jose Bordalas called for reinforcements earlier this month.

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