Roma plotting January move for Barcelona's Riqui Puig

By Sean Walsh
Puig has barely played for Barcelona this season
Puig has barely played for Barcelona this season / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Roma boss Jose Mourinho is hoping to take advantage of Barcelona's poor start to the season with a January move for midfielder Riqui Puig.

Barcelona went into the October international break sitting in ninth place in La Liga and having lost both of their opening Champions League group games 3-0.

Puig has barely gotten a look in this season under Ronald Koeman, featuring in just 76 minutes of domestic action, and Catalan outlet El Nacional report that Mourinho is keen on bringing him to Roma in the January transfer window.

The 22-year-old also has interest in Spain from Getafe, Celta Vigo and Real Sociedad, but he does not want to decide his own future before that of Koeman becomes clearer.

Koeman, though publicly backed by club president Joan Laporta, remains under pressure to turn fortunes around at Camp Nou. They face Valencia this weekend and take on Dynamo Kyiv in the Champions League, before hosting Real Madrid in El Clasico next Sunday. Barcelona could be 11 points behind their biggest rivals in the league table by the end of next week.

Barça have been keen to loan Puig out due to Koeman's indifference to him, but the midfielder has always backed his ability to break into the first team regardless. He will wait until December to re-evaluate the situation, but even then would only be open to leaving on loan without an option-to-buy clause.

Puig remains way down the Barcelona pecking order however. Sergio Busquets, Pedri, Sergi Roberto, Frenkie de Jong, Gavi and Nico Gonzalez have all been preferred to him in midfield this season.