Koeman to allow Puig and Alena to leave Barcelona in January

By James Shearman

By James Shearman

Updated 5:31 PM - November 18, 2020

Barcelona midfielders Riqui Puig and Carles Alena will be allowed to leave on loan in January by coach Ronald Koeman.

The Dutch boss has been told by Barcelona’s managing committee that there must be sales first if he is to add to the squad in the window.

However, neither would leave the club permanently, only on loan; Koeman feels he has plenty of better options in midfield, and so he wants them to continue their development away from Camp Nou.

Riqui Puig’s situation

Koeman met with Puig in the summer and told him that he would not play very often, suggesting he needed to go on loan to play regularly.

Despite this the midfielder still wanted to stay and was convinced he would grow more at Barca than any other team in Europe. But with the January transfer window drawing near, Puig has now seen what not playing is like; he has played just three minutes this season in all competitions.

Puig has played just three minutes this season in all competitions

In the summer there was interest from German sides Borussia Monchengladbach and Schalke, but more recently the interest has come from Portugal.

Benfica and Porto are keen to acquire his obvious talents, but there have been no talks because the player and his representatives are not listening to offers yet.

Puig knows the easy thing would be to leave but the challenge of breaking into the team is motivating. He has complete faith in his ability, as do fans of the club, and is convinced that when the chance arrives he will be able to take it.

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Carles Alena’s situation

Alena also understands he won’t get many minutes at Barca, as was the case under Ernesto Valverde last season, and is fed up with waiting for his chance after spending the second half of the campaign on loan at Real Betis.

Per his contract, he can make his own decision in January and would rather a loan move to a Spanish team again, even though there is interest from abroad. Getafe wanted him in the summer, but Barcelona wanted to keep him at that point and like Puig he has been used sparingly, playing just seven minutes.

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