Elche are reportedly closing in on the loan capture of Barcelona attacking midfielder Alex Collado, with the move now in its advanced stages.
According to journalist Albert Roge, Barcelona youngster Alex Collado is close to securing a loan move away from Camp Nou, with fellow La Liga club Elche emerging as his most likely destination.
Collado is a product of Barcelona’s fabled La Masia youth setup. The 23-year-old has been on the Catalan club’s books since 2010, when he joined from local rivals Espanyol. Having steadily risen through the ranks, the versatile attacking midfielder made a name for himself during the 2020/21 campaign when he was the captain of Barça’s Atletic team.
It looked like Collado was set to be promoted to the first-team setup last summer, but then-manager Ronald Koeman decided against it. And after loan spells to Club Brugge and Sheffield United fell through, the 23-year-old Spaniard spent the first half of the 2021/22 campaign without any form of professional football as he was not registered with Barcelona’s senior side or the Atletic team.
Collado sealed a loan move to La Liga club Granada during the January window and enjoyed a positive spell, finishing with two goals and an assist from 17 matches. When he returned to Camp Nou for pre-season this summer, it was expected that manager Xavi Hernandez was set to keep the La Masia graduate at Barcelona for the upcoming season.
However, given the competition for places in the side in the midfield and attacking regions, Collado felt that he would not receive adequate game-time at Barcelona and requested a loan exit before the transfer window closed.
Several clubs from within Spain and outside showed interest in the 23-year-old Spaniard. But, as things stand, it looks like Collado will be joining La Liga minnows Elche for a temporary stint for the upcoming campaign. As per the report from Albert Roge, the deal is already in its advanced stages and could soon be finalised.
The journalist reveals that clubs like Celtic, Olympiacos, Real Valladolid, Girona and UD Almeria were also interested in Collado. But the 23-year-old Barcelona prospect is headed for Elche.
Collado recently renewed his contract with the Catalans until the summer of 2024, and the club want to extend it by another year before loaning him out, reports Adria Albets. However, the player’s camp is reluctant to sign another extension, which has slowed down his loan exit. Once that matter is resolved, the 23-year-old is expected to finalise his move to Estadio Manuel Martínez Valero.