Barcelona to Offer Riqui Puig to Either Inter or Juventus

Barcelona are exploring the idea of moving prodigious midfielder Riqui Puig out in a swap deal with either Inter Milan or Juventus. Per Mundo Deportivo, the Spanish juggernauts have taken an interest in several Serie A stars, including Lautaro Martinez, Alessandro Bastoni, Federico Bernardeschi, Adrien Rabiot, and Rodrigo Bentancur.

Following massive revenue losses, Barcelona will have to find creative ways to reinforce the squad in the summer. Ronald Koeman is looking to add fresh blood to his well-knit, albeit aging squad after faltering in the Champions League in his first year in charge of the Catalans.

Currently embroiled in a keenly-contested La Liga title run-in, Barcelona are also keeping close tabs on developments in Serie A. 

Inter Milan stalwart Lautaro Martinez was the leading candidate to replace Luis Suarez at Camp Nou before the coronavirus pandemic put the squeeze on the Catalans’ finances. Although a lack of funds hampered the Argentine’s move to La Liga last summer, he might end up linking up with his international colleague Lionel Messi this time around.

Another Inter gem is also on Koeman’s shortlist. Bastoni has risen to prominence under Antonio Conte this term as a vital part of the Italians’ three-man backline. With Samuel Umtiti’s future in Spain hanging by a thread, the Dutch manager has identified the 22-year-old as a perfect long-term replacement for the Frenchman.

Elsewhere, a few Juventus first-team stars have joined the Inter duo on Barca’s shopping list. Adrien Rabiot is the Catalan outfit’s long-term target, as they tried to take him away from Paris Saint-Germain but failed to beat the Bianconeri to the midfielder’s signature.

The Blaugrana have reignited their interest in the 26-year-old deep-lying playmaker, who has struggled to impress in Turin so far. Rabiot’s midfield companion Rodrigo Bentancur is another prospect Barcelona had played a watchful eye on as Koeman hopes to bolster his options in the summer.

Riqui Puig, who has come through the ranks at Camp Nou, could fall victim to Barca’s lack of liquidity. The super-talented midfielder learned his trait at the famous La Masia before making his La Liga debut in April 2019.

However, the 21-year-old playmaker has found himself at the bottom of the pecking order under Koeman. After completing just two league starts this season, Puig could hit the road in pursuit of regular first-team football.