Leeds ‘enter the race to sign Barcelona midfielder Riqui Puig in January’ with the highly-rated youngster surprisingly exiled by Ronald Koeman at the Nou Camp this season
Leeds have entered the running to sign highly-rated Barcelona midfielder Riqui Puig, according to reports in Spain.
The 21-year-old has played just 28 competitive minutes this season for the Catalan giants, including 25 minutes against Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League, after being surprisingly ostracised by Ronald Koeman.
The Spain Under-21 international revealed his confidence last month that the Dutchman would give him chances to impress this season after reports he had been told to find a new club in the summer, but that patience appears to have worn thin.
Leeds have entered the running to sign highly-rated Barcelona midfielder Riqui Puig
The 21-year-old has played just 28 competitive minutes this season for the Catalan giants
Now, according to Diario Sport, Puig’s agent has been in contact with the newly-promoted Leeds about the possibility of a loan deal for the player in January, with Marcelo Bielsa’s preference for possession-based football putting Elland Road as an ideal fit.
But the report adds that Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig and French side Monaco are also interested in signing him and are willing to give him the minutes he requires to continue his development.
The same outlet adds LaLiga rivals Real Betis could come into the mix for Puig – who made 12 appearances last season – following the injury to Spain star Sergio Canales.
Puig revealed his confidence that Ronald Koeman would give him chances to impress
But now reports suggest his agent has contacted Marcelo Bielsa’s side over a loan move
The reports come after plenty of speculation about Puig that followed the arrival of Koeman in August, with reports suggesting he had been told he was not part of the new manager’s plans.
Puig then fought back in October and told Marca: ‘It is true that if I do not have minutes with the club, it will be very difficult to go to the Euros (with Spain).
‘I think that at Barca I will end up having minutes and some opportunities and will be able to go to the Euros.
Julian Nagelsmann’s RB Leipzig have also been linked with a move for the Spain U21 midfielder
‘Yes, I am optimistic (of minutes), otherwise I would not have stayed at Barca.
‘At Barca I want to succeed, claim a position and I don’t see any other way. I’m very happy in Barcelona, I have my family, I think I’ll end up playing.’
But his lack of minutes also led to reports earlier this month that he had been added to a six-man Nou Camp blacklist along with fellow youngster Carles Alena for the January transfer window.
Puig made 12 appearances for the Catalan giants last season in his breakout year at the club
The club are looking to raise funds to sign Memphis Depay and Eric Garcia in just more than four weeks time, having missed out on the Lyon star in the summer.
Martin Braithwaite, Samuel Umtiti, Matheus Fernandes and Junior Firpo are also said to feature on the list.
Barca will likely make a move for Manchester City defender Garcia in January, with a bid worth around £7million. Garcia is highly rated at the Etihad Stadium but the 19-year-old is out of contract in the summer and is not keen on penning a new deal at the Premier League outfit.
Reports have suggested he could be used to raise funds for Memphis Depay and Eric Garcia