According to Spanish media outlet Sport, Arsenal is interested in signing Riqui Puig on loan from Barcelona in the January transfer window. The 21-year-old is a La Masia graduate and debuted in 2018 for the senior side. For the first team, he made 19 appearances, during which time the central midfielder provided three assists. He has only made four appearances in all competitions this season and has yet to play a single game.
Puig is not featured in the plans of Barcelona head coach Ronald Koeman and a loan move in the transfer window next month seems possible. It is known that Arsenal director Mikel Arteta asked the club to sign a loan for the player. This season, the Gunners are struggling to create opportunities in front of goal and Puig has been identified as a player who can help them solve this issue.
The Gunners were close to signing Lyon’s Houssem Aouar in the summer but were unable to negotiate with the French club on a transfer fee. They were supposed in January to reignite their interest in the player, but it looks like their interest in the French midfielder has been cooled by the North London club.
Puig’s deal with Barcelona will expire next summer, but his contract will be extended for a further two years by the Catalan club. It is uncertain if they would exercise this option, but if the player were to leave the Spanish giants on loan in January, his deal will be extended as they would otherwise face the possibility of the 21-year-old leaving at the end of the season for a free transfer.
For a long time, the North London club had held tabs on Puig, but the player was hesitant in the past to abandon Barcelona. His lack of game time has made his suitors believe that next month he will be prepared to consider leaving the club on loan.
AC Milan is also interested in signing Puig on loan and, if the player does indeed want to leave the Spanish giants in January, it is expected to send Arsenal tough competition.
Arsenal needs a creative midfielder, but Puig’s limited senior experience makes this move seem like a major risk, although he is extremely highly regarded. The Gunners suffered a catastrophic first half of the season and need high-quality replacements to get back on track for their season.
When they head to the AmEx Stadium to take on Brighton on Tuesday, Mikel Arteta will expect to lead his side to their second Premier League win on the bounce.