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Ronald Koeman discusses Riqui Puig’s future after Barcelona’s win over Elche

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The midfielder was left out of the squad

FC Barcelona v Elche CF - Joan Gamper Trophy Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Ronald Koeman spoke about Riqui Puig’s future at the club after Barcelona’s 1-0 win over Elche in the Joan Gamper Trophy on Saturday.

The 21-year-old was left out of the squad amid speculation Koeman had informed the youngster he was not in his plans for 2020-21 and should find a new club.

Koeman says that’s not exactly how the conversation went but added he does think the youngster should go out on loan to gain more playing time.

“It is not true that I do not have him. I spoke with him yesterday before training. I am clear that young people have to play and I told him so. He, Aleñà, Pedri ... Young people like Riqui have to participate and I told him that it will be very difficult here because he will have a lot of competition. We are thinking about the best way to succeed at Barca.

“I have told him that he has a future here, but it depends on the player. I would recommend that he go on loan. Guys in their 20s like him have to play and cannot stand. We have drawn conclusions in these three weeks and Riqui has too much competition.”

It’s been reported that Puig is pretty surprised and disappointed at Koeman’s decision (aren’t we all?) and doesn’t really want to leave. What is not in doubt though is that he surely won’t lack for loan options this summer.