Barcelona Midfielder Skips Training, Departure is ‘Imminent’: Report

Barcelona training

Getty Riqui Puig has been given permission to miss

Riqui Puig’s time at Barcelona appears to be finally nearing an end with the 22-year-old midfielder close to sealing a move to Major League Soccer side LA Galaxy.

The youngster has been given permission to miss training by coach Xavi on Wednesday, August 3 in order to complete his move. Puig’s departure from Barcelona is said to be “imminent,” as reported by journalist Victor Navarro.

LA Galaxy will sign Puig on a three-year permanent deal, according to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano. The transfer will include a “sell on clause” and an official announcement is expected shortly.

Puig joined Barcelona in 2013 and shone as he came through the club’s famed La Masia youth academy. The midfielder has gone on to make 57 appearances in all competitions for the first team but has never managed to nail down a regular place in the starting XI.

Coach Xavi has already informed Puig he is not in his plans for the 2022-23 campaign. The Barca manager is well-stocked when it comes to midfield options with Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong, Franck Kessie, Pedri, Gavi, and Nico Gonzalez all available.

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Gavi To Take Puig’s No. 6 Shirt?

Puig’s departure will leave the famous Barcelona No. 6 shirt up for grabs. The most likely player to take over the iconic squad number is 17-year-old midfielder Gavi, as reported by Mundo Deportivo.

Barcelona coach Xavi famously wore the shirt during his time at the club, playing alongside Andres Iniesta in the No. 8. The Catalans have already confirmed 19-year-old Pedri will wear the 8 next season and it may be fitting if Gavi took the 6.

The two teenagers have already been likened to Xavi and Iniesta, indeed Pedri has already said he hopes the two players can emulate the club legends, as reported by Barca’s official website.

“Let’s hope we can be a duo like Xavi and Iniesta but it will tough to repeat what they did,” he said. “I have a special relationship with him and I really appreciate him, he has great potential.”

Pedri has already cemented his position as one of Barcelona’s most important players despite only arriving at the club in 2020. Meanwhile, Gavi enjoyed a stunning breakout campaign in 2021-22, becoming a regular for club and country despite his youth and lack of top-level experience.

Puig To Follow Mingueza Out of Barcelona?

Puig looks set to become the latest La Masia graduate to head away from the Camp Nou. Barcelona have already confirmed that defender Oscar Mingueza has agreed a transfer to La Liga side Celta Vigo.

The Catalans confirmed details of the transfer on the club’s official website.

“FC Barcelona and Real Club Celta de Vigo have settled terms for the transfer of Óscar Mingueza,” read a statement. “The Catalan club retains the right to repurchase the player in the future and 50% of any future sale.”

Mingueza says goodbye to Barcelona after 15 years at the Camp Nou. The defender has played at every single level for the Catalan giants, going on to make 66 first-team appearances in all competitions and winning the Copa del Rey.

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