Porto reject the chance to sign 22-year-old Barcelona midfielder on loan
While Barcelona have successful sanctioned the sale of Clement Lenglet and Philippe Coutinho, not all of their fringe players are having it easy to attract a new suitor this summer.
Samuel Umtiti recently had his move to Rennes ruled out due to his poor injury record at Camp Nou. And according to Mundo Deportivo, Riqui Puig could join the list of Barcelona players, who are struggling to find a new club.
Puig was heavily linked with a move to Fiorentina earlier this summer. But the Italian outfit backed out on the pursuit, with the manager confirming the midfielder was never on their transfer list.
After Fiorentina, it appears FC Porto, too, have opted to take a similar stance on the issue. The report suggests the Portuguese giants were handed the opportunity to sign Puig on a loan deal this summer. But the club are not interested in his services.
While FC Porto do acknowledge the creativity and technical ability of Riqui Puig, the Spaniard is not the type of player coach Sergio Conceicao is looking for.
The Porto manager has had to deal with the exit of midfield lynchpin Fabio Vieira to Arsenal this summer. Porto have also sanctioned the sale of Vitinha to Paris Saint-Germain, thus creating a massive void in the middle of the park.
While Conceicao is naturally on the lookout for like-for-like replacements, he believes Puig does not fit the profile. The Portuguese tactician is looking for other options in the market.
As for Puig, it is not the end of the road just yet and there is a possibility that FC Porto’s rejection may pave the way for their arch-rivals SL Benfica to swoop in for the Barcelona midfielder.
Benfica head coach Roger Schmidt is a keen admirer of Puig and wants to accommodate him into his team setup ahead of the new season. So it will be interesting to see what the future holds for the young Spaniard this summer.