Barcelona ace, 22, who ‘astonished’ Lionel Messi in training is set for MLS move
Barcelona starlet Riqui Puig is set to join MLS outfit LA Galaxy on a season-long loan deal, despite finding favour with club legend Lionel Messi.
The midfield maestro, 22, made his debut for La Blaugrana back in 2018 but has since had to compete with teenage sensation Gavi for a starting berth, making just 15 La Liga appearances last season.
With the Catalan giants having strengthened the middle of the park with the free signing of Franck Kessie, Puig has been deemed surplus to requirements by manager Xavi and is now set to head across the Atlantic for a 12-month stint at LA Galaxy – seemingly against the wishes of Barca icon Messi.
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Spanish periodical SPORT claimed in 2018 that the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner was "astonished" after one training session with Puig.
The report stated that Messi believed Puig was shaping up as a "top quality" footballer with a "privileged vision of the game" which was evident after training with the first-team during the 2017/18 campaign. Then-team-mates Luis Suarez and Andras Iniesta were also said to be "captivated by his football."
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As well as Kessie joining the ranks at the Camp Nou for the new season, Xavi is also expected to be boosted by the return of Pedri. The 19-year-old missed the latter stages of the previous term due to picking up a hamstring injury in the second leg of Barcelona's quarter-final Europa League clash against Eintracht Frankfurt.
Puig, whose contract expires in 2023, is therefore unable to be guaranteed regular football by Xavi and Spanish outlet AS allege Puig has reached a verbal agreement to switch Stateside.
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