Barcelona must deal with the ‘overbooking’ they have in midfield in January. Three players whose futures need sorting this winter are Carles Aleña, Ivan Rakitic and Riqui Puig.
Coach Ernesto Valverde is trying to manage a large field of midfielder players. Busquets, De Jong and Arthur are currently his preferred trio, with Arturo Vidal and Sergi Roberto the most used after them.
Therefore, Rakitic (197 minutes) and Aleña (45) have been reduced to bit-part roles. Puig, meanwhile, remains with the B team and hasn’t featured for the first team this term.
Barça, along with the representatives of the three players, need to find the best solution for everyone. In Rakitic’s case, the Croatian wanted to continue at Camp Nou but his lack of action could see his stance change.
Rakitic has been linked with Inter and Milan in Italy and Manchester United in the Premier League. PSG also remain an outside option. He would prefer to move to Milan or Paris.
Aleña has various loan options, in La Liga (Real Betis) and the Premier League (Tottenham). His objective is to get regular minutes, something which is not happening at Barcelona at the moment. He would prefer to stay in Spain.
Puig’s future is linked to what the other two do. Everyone feels that for him to continue progressing he now needs top-level minutes, although that’s tough at Barça. If Rakitic and Aleña leave, he would stay, which is his preferred option, and have more presence in the first team. If there remains an overbooking in midfield, he could take advantage of one of the loan options he has.