Barcelona midfielder Riqui Puig has reportedly turned down a chance to join La Liga rivals Real Betis as he hopes to resurrect his career at Camp Nou.
According to a report from El Nacional, Barcelona midfielder Riqui Puig has rejected the opportunity to make a switch to Real Betis in the ongoing transfer window as he wishes to fight for his place in Catalonia.
Puig has been with Barcelona for nearly eight years now, joining the club’s La Masia youth setup back in 2014. Widely regarded as one of the brightest prospects to have come through the academy in recent years, the 22-year-old has been unable to live up to his potential at the first-team level at Camp Nou.
Since making his senior debut in late 2018, Puig has featured just 50 times in all competitions, scoring one goal. The Spaniard was completely overlooked by former manager Ronald Koeman, which had led to speculations over his future with the Blaugrana during the summer.
However, the 22-year-old, who continues to enjoy the faith of club president Joan Laporta, stayed put at the club, although his fortunes have failed to improve even under new manager Xavi Hernandez. Indeed, Puig has started just one La Liga match this term and finds himself behind Pedri, Gavi, Nico Gonzalez and Frenkie de Jong in the pecking order.
Hence, Barcelona are believed to be open to offloading him on a loan deal to ensure that the midfielder gets some regular playing time. There has been no shortage of suitors for the 22-year-old either, with several clubs in La Liga showing an interest. Real Betis have now emerged as a potential loan destination for Puig in the January transfer window.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side have tried to sign the Barcelona midfielder in the past but have failed to taste success in their pursuit. And, as per the report, their efforts to land Puig are likely to prove futile yet again. As per the report, the 22-year-old has turned down the chance to join the Verdiblancos and is not considering leaving Camp Nou for the time being.
A move to Real Betis could have proved beneficial for the 22-year-old as he would stand to get regular minutes with a team that plays in a style that would suit his abilities. Furthermore, he would also be playing in the UEFA Europa League with Pellegrini & co. However, it is claimed that Puig is confident that he can convince manager Xavi Hernandez that he has a role to play in the current setup. So, a loan exit in January can be considered off the table, at least for now.