It’s been another frustrating season for young midfielders Carles Alena and Riqui Puig at Barcelona with both players having seen precious few chances to impress in the first team so far in 2020-21.
Ronald Koeman did advise the club’s young stars to go out on loan at the start of the season and offers for the duo are likely to come in now the January transfer window has opened.
Alena had a temporary spell with Betis last season and looks the most likely to depart after managing just two substitute appearances in La Liga. A move to Getafe looks to be on the cards after club president Angel Torres admitted his team were keen.
The latest update suggests a deal is “close.” Marca report that Alena “intends to leave” in order to play more regularly. Getafe are in pole position to land the midfielder in a move that would see him link up with Marc Cucurella.
And then there’s Riqui Puig who has managed marginally more appearances than Alena but sadly still looks a long way off convincing Koeman he can be a key part of his team.
Indeed the Dutchman took a bit of a swipe at Puig recently, suggesting the youngster’s lack of game time was because he was not doing enough in training to warrant more minutes.
There have been rumors of interest in Puig but the latest update suggests he’ll stay and could even see his contract, which expires at the end of the season, extended for another two years.
Barcelona - at the moment - are not planning to loan out Riqui Puig in January. And his contract will be extended until June 2023 with clause set to be triggered. He’s not leaving as a free agent in Barça plans. #FCB #Barça @MatteMoretto— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) December 30, 2020
Certainly it would not be a surprise to see Alena and/or Puig leave in January and it would definitely be preferential to see both players playing regularly, even if not in a Barcelona shirt, than sitting on the bench at the Camp Nou week after week.
Koeman’s unwillingness to hand Puig a chance, despite his team’s continued struggles, continues to baffle but so far does not appear to have diminished the youngster’s desire to succeed at the Camp Nou.