Barcelona are reportedly interested in Arnau Puigmal and are looking to engineer a January move for the Manchester United academy ace.

According to Spanish publication Sport, Barcelona are looking to beef up their academy ranks this January. The La Liga giants have tasted some success under Ronald Koeman while recruiting youngsters and are now looking at Manchester United star Arnau Puigmal.

The Spanish youth international is a local man, having played for Espanyol before being recruited by Manchester United three years ago. The midfielder is a target for Barcelona, who are hoping to sign the youngster for their B team and are optimistic of the prospect that Puigmal would also look to return to Spain.

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Arnau Puigmal has become one of the most enticing prospects in English youth football and within the Manchester United youth academy since joining from Espanyol. The midfielder has started the new season on a high, playing a part in 5 goals (3G, 2A) in just two Under-23 Premier League appearances while also scoring in the EFL Trophy win over Salford City.

The 19-year-old looks primed to challenge for the first-team places soon at Manchester United. However, the report iterates that Puigmal would consider a return to Spain and that he is ready to take the next step in his career. Barcelona might want to take advantage of the same.

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Francisco Javier Garcia Pimienta would love a player like Puigmal in his squad, especially with Ilaix Moriba and Ferran Sarsanedas both out with injuries. Sport’s report mentions Puigmal as a cover or alternative to the injured Andres Solano, which could also create a potential place for the 19-year-old, with the former Espanyol star able to play as a central midfielder as well as on the right side, both in midfield and in defence.

What will be paramount will be Manchester United’s resolve to retain Puigmal, should offers come pouring in for the 19-year-old. The Red Devils have recruited a super-team of sorts in the youth ranks and have only let Angel Gomes go so far, with the Portuguese unwilling to sign a new contract.

There are other clubs that might also be keen on Puigmal. However, it will be intriguing to see if Barcelona do launch a move in January for the rising Manchester United star.

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