Fiorentina director declines interest in Barcelona star Riqui Puig

Contrary to reports, Fiorentina are not interested in signing out-of-favour Barcelona midfielder Riqui Puig this summer, claims their director.

Fiorentina sporting director Daniele Prade has claimed that the Serie A outfit have no interest in securing the signing of Barcelona outcast Riqui Puig in the ongoing transfer window.

The 22-year-old Puig finds himself out of favour at Camp Nou having failed to establish himself as a regular in the first team four years after making his debut. The La Masia graduate was hardly called upon by manager Xavi Hernandez last season and with the addition of Franck Kessie, the young midfielder has fallen further down the order of preference.

Puig has been given permission to find a new club for himself this summer. And while Portuguese giants Benfica retain an interest in the Spaniard, Fiorentina were reported to have emerged as a strong contender for the midfielder’s signing.

Indeed, the Viola were believed to be in advanced talks with Puig’s camp. However, sporting director Daniele Prade has dismissed those speculations, confirming that Fiorentina never even considered the possibility of signing the Barcelona outcast this summer.

As quoted by Fabrizio Romano, Prade said: “We are not interested in Riqui Puig, he has never been in our list. We wanted to sign Grillitsch but then we had some problems.”

While Fiorentina might not be an option for Puig, he still has plenty of suitors this summer. The aforementioned Benfica remain keen on signing the 22-year-old while Fiorentina’s Serie A rivals, Lazio, are also looking at the Barcelona academy product as a potential transfer target this summer. At the same time, Puig is courting interest from several clubs in La Liga and the French Ligue 1.

A product of the La Masia academy, Puig has played 56 times for the Barcelona first team since making his debut in 2018 under Ernesto Valverde. The midfielder has scored two goals and set up three more. Considering how sparingly he was used by Xavi last season, it is evident that the 22-year-old does not have a prominent part in the manager’s plans.

What now remains to be seen is where the Spanish midfield prospect ends up as an exit from Camp Nou looms large.

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