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Benfica are still interested in signing La Masia graduate midfielder – report

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Photo by CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP via Getty Images

Despite activating the first economic lever that is set to generate revenue in excess of €200 million, Barcelona will still need to rely on player sales to clear up space on their wage bill and add new signings to their roster.

Several out-of-favour stars are expected to be moved on this summer and one such player who will be shown the exit doors is Riqui Puig.

The 22-year-old La Masia academy graduate has been unable to carve out a place for himself in the first-team setup at Camp Nou after making his debut in 2018.

Puig has largely been overlooked by the Barcelona managers during his time with the senior team. The 2020/21 campaign saw him being nearly frozen out by then-manager Ronald Koeman.

Things were expected to improve for the Spaniard when Xavi Hernandez took over the reins in November last year. But that was not the case as Puig continued to suffer from a lack of game-time under the club legend as well.

With the likes of Pedri, Gavi, Nico Gonzalez, Frenkie de Jong and Sergio Busquets ahead of him in the pecking order and Barcelona set to add Franck Kessie to their roster, Puig finds himself out of favoud and a summer exit is now on the cards.

La Liga rivals Celta Vigo are strongly interested in signing Puig this summer.

And now journalist Gerard Romero is reporting that Portuguese heavyweights SL Benfica are also maintaining a strong interest in securing the services of the 22-year-old midfielder this summer.

Benfica have strengthened their midfield unit with the signing of Enzo Fernandez but remain keen on adding another body in the centre of the park, with Puig emerging as a target.

The 22-year-old’s contract with the Catalans runs out next year. So an exit is pretty much a given. Whether a move to Benfica materialises or he opts to stay in Spain by signing for Celta Vigo remains to be seen.

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