Riqui Puig Says He Is Not Considering Leaving Barcelona Amid Exit Rumours

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IIDecember 2, 2019

BARCELONA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 27: Riqui Puig of FC Barcelona B looks on during the Liga Segunda Division B at Estadi Johan Cruyff on October 27, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Barcelona youngster Riqui Puig said on Monday he is not considering leaving Barcelona and wants to stay at the Camp Nou. 

The 20-year-old has been linked with leaving the club on loan in the January transfer window to gain more game time but wants to stay with the Catalan giants, per Juan Jimenez and Jonathan Meaney at AS.

"At all times I have said that I want to stay at Barca. ... At the moment I'm not considering leaving the club and everything is going very well. I'm going to stay here.

"Some manager has talked to my father, but they have not made it very clear what they want to do with me. The club has always trusted me a lot, they want me to triumph here and they see me as an investment."

Barcelona's director of youth football Patrick Kluivert has advised Puig to go out on loan. He told Albert Roge and Tomas Andreu at Sport that "it's better for Riqui to go out on loan to play at a different level." 

Puig is widely regarded as one of La Masia's most promising talents. He made his debut for the first team in their 4-1 win over Cultural Leonesa in the Copa del Rey in December 2018 and went on to make two La Liga starts against Celta Vigo and Huesca:

LaLiga @LaLigaEN

Great pass from @RiquiPuig... but Santamaria denies @Dembouz ! 👏📛 #HuescaBarça https://t.co/a7W9BHczeO

However, he has not managed a first-team appearance for Ernesto Valverde's team in 2019-20, although he has continued to impress for Francisco Javier Garcia Pimienta's Barcelona B team:

FC Barcelona B @FCBarcelonaB

⚽💥 @RiquiPuig https://t.co/BcZazNIiOn

He also caught the eye in a fund-raising friendly against Cartagena in November:

FC Barcelona @FCBarcelona

⚽️ @RiquiPuig's passing skills! 💫 #CartagenaBarça LIVE STREAM: https://t.co/F5eawXMZfR https://t.co/Hf3EQy3CmO

Segunda Division side Las Palmas had been linked with a move for the youngster. Yet president Miguel Angel Ramirez has ruled out bringing Puig to the club in January, per Sport.

Puig has bags of potential and talent but is struggling for game time with the Barcelona first team due to the fierce competition for places in midfield.

However, that could all change when the transfer window reopens in January. Barcelona want to sell Ivan Rakitic and loan out Carles Alena, according to Ben Hayward at the Evening Standard.

If both players were to leave the Camp Nou it would free up space in the first team, which may offer Puig the chance to stake a claim for a place in Valverde's squad.