Barcelona outcast Alex Collado has reportedly emerged as a loan target for EFL Championship club Sheffield United ahead of the January transfer window.

According to a report from Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo, out-of-favour Barcelona prospect Alex Collado will be allowed to leave the club on loan in the winter transfer window and has attracted interest from a number of clubs, including EFL Championship outfit Sheffield United.

Collado joined Barcelona’s famed La Masia youth academy from local rivals Espanyol in 2010 and has enjoyed a steady rise through the ranks ever since. The 22-year-old winger, who can also play in midfield, had become a key part of the Catalans’ B team in recent years and was even named the captain last season.

Having impressed with a tally of eight goals and three assists from 22 games for the B team in 2020/21, it looked certain that Collado would be gaining a foothold into the first-team for the current campaign. However, that was not to be as manager Ronald Koeman deemed him surplus to requirements and cast him aside during the pre-season itself.

Collado, who has two senior appearances for Barcelona to date, came close to joining Belgian outfit Club Brugges on loan in the summer, but a move fell through. The 22-year-old was then on the verge of completing a deadline day switch to Sheffield United, but the loan switch failed to materialise and he ended up staying in Catalonia.

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However, Collado was not registered with the first-team in La Liga, nor was he registered with the B team, which has left him in a limbo. With the January transfer window not far away, Barcelona have decided to loan him out for the rest of the season, before assessing his prospects in the summer.

And the youngster’s situation has caught the attention of a number of clubs, including Sheffield United. The Blades, having failed to land the 22-year-old in the summer, have once again expressed an interest in taking him on loan. And a move would make sense considering as they haven’t made the best of starts to the campaign and will need some boost in January in order to make a push for the playoff spots.

Sheffield United, though, are not the only club in pursuit of Collado as Real Betis are also interested in signing him on loan, as are Italian outfit Parma and Danish club FC Copenhagen. In addition, the Barcelona academy graduate is also being pursued by Spanish lower league outfit FC Andorra, which is 90% owned by the Catalans’ very own Gerard Pique.

It remains to be seen what the January transfer window brings with it for Collado, but a loan exit from Barcelona would be the best move for the 22-year-old as he looks to resurrect his career.

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