Barcelona have reportedly excused Riqui Puig from the first week of pre-season training so that he can find a new club.
Puig, who has been linked with a move to Wolverhampton Wanderers, has been made available for transfer by Barcelona after being excluded from head coach Xavi’s plans for 2022/23. Puig only made 15 appearances in La Liga last season, scoring one goal.
Xavi has instead placed his faith in fellow La Masia academy graduates Pedri and Gavi, leaving no place for Puig in the engine room. Puig was due to report back to Barcelona’s training headquarters on Monday, but the club have given him, as well as fellow outcasts Oscar Mingueza and Samuel Umtiti, an extra week off to seal moves away.
Puig is one of several names who have been linked with filling the vacancy in Wolves’ midfield. Matheus Nunes remains Bruno Lage’s preferred target, but Wolves face a battle to sign the Sporting ace.
Wolves would have to break their club-record transfer for Nunes, whereas Puig – who is still only 22 – would come far cheaper. Puig was mooted as a potential makeweight in Barcelona’s bid to sign Ruben Neves, but reports suggest the Camp Nou club have shelved plans to sign Wolves’ talisman for another 12 months.
Wolves’ need for a new midfielder has been heightened by Joao Moutinho’s contract situation. The 35-year-old midfielder is now out of contract at Wolves and free to sign for other clubs.
Puig has lots of interest in his native Spain, with Valencia and Getafe reportedly keen to land him. Italian club Lazio has also been mentioned as a potential destination for Puig.