Barcelona has reportedly extended midfielder Riqui Puig’s contract at the club until June 2023 following Saturday’s final La Liga game of the 2020-21 season at Eibar.
The 21-year-old is one of the club’s brightest talents but has struggled for game time this season under Ronald Koeman, making just two La Liga starts throughout the whole campaign.
However, the Catalan giants have moved to extend his contract and will talk to the youngster about his future shortly, according to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano.
Barcelona have officially triggered Riqui Puig’s clause to extend his contract until June 2023. Riqui wants to stay at Barça after the club turned down two loan proposals in January. He’s gonna talk about it with Joan Laporta once the manager situation is decided. 🔵🔴 #FCB
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) May 23, 2021
Meanwhile, Koeman’s future is in doubt after a poor end to the season and he could be replaced. The Dutchman’s record in key fixtures is under scrutiny, while his unwillingness to offer Puig more minutes this season has not gone down well with supporters.
Indeed, Koeman advised Puig to go out on loan at the start of the campaign but the youngster opted to stay and try to fight for his place. However, Puig has spent most of the season on the bench, and his lack of game time has also seen him left out of the Spain Under-21 squad for this summer’s European Championship
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Puig Reacts to Eibar Win
Puig did feature in Saturday’s win at Eibar. The 21-year-old came on as a substitute for Ilaix Moriba in the second half after the teenager picked up an ankle injury and had to be taken off.
The midfielder took to social media after the game to send supporters a message after Barca’s season ended in disappointing style. Barca had been in contention to win the league but a series of poor displays saw the team eventually finish third.
Puig wrote on Instagram, “We finished the season with a victory even though we would have liked to win the double to celebrate with all of you. Thank you for all the messages of support. Visca Barcelona!”
Laporta Sends Message to Puig
Puig may not have managed to convince Koeman of his qualities this season, but he certainly appears to have a fan in president Joan Laporta. The new club chief reportedly sent a message to Puig after winning the elections in March.
According to Mundo Deportivo, Laporta told Puig, “You keep smiling, I will make you succeed at Barcelona.” The two men were also spotted smiling and embracing at the Barcelona Open tennis tournament in April.
President Laporta conveyed a message to Riqui Puig after winning the elections on March 7th. On the first occasion he had to greet Puig, he told the player: ‘If you keep laughing, I will make you triumph’. [md] pic.twitter.com/uhqpkBJjL9
— barcacentre (@barcacentre) May 20, 2021
Puig also shared a photograph on Instagram on the way back from the Copa del Rey final win over Athletic. The midfielder’s holding the trophy and wearing a big grin, while Laporta appears to be whispering something in his ear.
Laporta has reportedly been frustrated by Puig’s lack of game time this season and does not understand why he has not had a more prominent role under Koeman, according to RAC1.
The president is expected to shake things up at Barcelona over the summer which could mean more good news for Puig. It’s been another frustrating campaign for the youngster, who will turn 22 in August, but he willing be hoping to play a key part as part of new-look team next season.
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