Barcelona are reportedly ready to sell talented young forward Abel Ruiz to Portuguese outfit Braga, despite the ongoing front-line crisis at club.
According to a report from Spanish publication Diario Sport, via Daily Mail, La Liga champions Barcelona could be prepared to offload another young attacker in the January transfer window, with 20-year-old Abel Ruiz set to leave the club to join Portuguese club SC Braga.
20-year-old Ruiz had been heralded as one of the brightest prospects to have come through Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy in recent years. The youngster has won the European U-17 and U-19 championships with the Spanish national team, but has found it difficult to break into the first-team at Camp Nou.
Till date, Ruiz has made only one appearance for the Blaugrana, which came in May last year. In the ongoing season, the 20-year-old has been leading the line for the Barcelona B team in Spanish third division, netting 3 goals in 19 matches.
Having seen Ansu Fati preferred over himself for the first-team this season, Ruiz had expressed his intention of leaving the club should opportunities not be forthcoming. Speaking in November, the Spaniard had said: “I want to be at Barcelona, but if you don’t enjoy the opportunities you want, you have to look for them elsewhere.”
And as per the latest report, Ruiz is closing in on a transfer to Portuguese outfit Braga. The forward, who turned 20 earlier this week, is understood to be on his way to a medical and is expected to pen a five-year contract with the club. The report does not mention any transfer fee or a potential buy-back clause that Barcelona might have interested.
This development comes on the back of the news of Barcelona selling another promising young forward, Carles Perez, to Serie A heavyweights AS Roma.
It is a well-known secret that Barcelona are scrambling in the transfer market in search of a new forward, having lost star striker Luis Suarez to an injury. Ousmane Dembele has also struggled for form and fitness in the ongoing campaign, which has left the Catalans over-reliant on captain Lionel Messi to deliver the goods in the final third.
So, it is a bit baffling that Barcelona have decided to offload another young forward from their ranks after having allowed Perez to leave. It remains to be seen if the Catalans are able to add any new attackers to their ranks before Friday night, with Chelsea star Willian and Ajax’s Dusan Tadic being linked with a move to Camp Nou.