Alex Collado finds himself in a difficult predicament at Barcelona.
Regarded as one of the brightest prospects to have come through the ranks at the club in recent years, the versatile 22-year-old was tipped to break into the first team this season.
However, after just a couple of games in the pre-season, it became clear that Collado was not favoured by manager Ronald Koeman. A loan move to Belgian outfit Club Brugge was close to being finalised but ended up falling through.
A deadline day loan switch to EFL Championship side Sheffield United also collapsed, leaving him in a tricky situation. Barcelona were unable to register Collado with La Liga, nor was the 22-year-old registered with the B team in time, as he was left in limbo.
Neither here nor there, the former Spanish Under-19 international finds himself in challenging circumstances as he has not played a single game so far this season. A resolution over his situation can only be reached in the January transfer window.
And, it seems like a couple of clubs are willing to offer him an escape route from his hellish experience at Barca. Serie A heavyweights AC Milan had registered an interest in Collado earlier this month, and now, Fichajes reports that Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen are also keen.
Die Werkself are known for their ability to develop and nurture young talents with the likes of Kai Havertz, Florian Wirtz, Leon Bailey, Edmond Tapsoba being a few notable examples.
So, a move to a club like that could work out well for Collado, who will be intent on proving himself at the highest level after the hard times that he has had to go through.
It remains to be seen if Barcelona loan him out or decide to sell him permanently. But it goes without saying that the 22-year-old needs to go out and play regularly in order to continue his development and realise his potential.