With the MLS summer transfer window closing on Thursday, it seemed as though the LA Galaxy may have to stand pat with their squad for the rest of the 2022 season. But reports out of Europe claim they could make one more swoop yet.
The Galaxy have been linked to FC Barcelona midfielder Riqui Puig. The rumor has been rumbling for several days, that “verbal agreements” (with the clubs or with the player and LA, it was not always clear) were in place, and final details were being ironed out starting on Monday.
On Tuesday, Fabrizio Romano, probably the foremost transfer rumor reporter in the English-speaking world at present, provided an update that negotiations are ongoing for a transfer.
Negotiations ongoing between LA Galaxy and Riqui Puig. All parties are optimistic as Barcelona are prepared to approve the deal, final details of player’s contract being discussed. ⚪️ #LAGalaxy— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 2, 2022
Barcelona want guaranteed sell-on clause included in the deal. pic.twitter.com/kfs0MEm5U1
Puig, 22, is a product of FC Barcelona’s famed academy, La Masia. The central midfielder made his Barcelona B debut in early 2018, before making his first-team debut at the end of that year. The Catalonia native has made 60 appearances across all competitions for Barcelona over the past four seasons, winning one La Liga title and one Copa del Rey in that span.
There is certainly motivation for Barcelona to move Puig on right now. They are trying to rebuild the squad on the fly while also dealing with functional financial insolvency that has accumulated over time. With the club looking to get back to their best while also staying afloat, they’re bringing in big names and need to ship a boatload of players already on the squad out to actually pull their maneuvers off. Puig, at best a rotational piece in his career to date, is an easy option to sell on, with Barcelona knowing they can probably get a bit of a transfer boost due to his academy pedigree.
For the Galaxy, they clearly need an effective playmaker who has the legs to defend as well. Puig is young, still has growth ahead in his career, and there have been several midfielders out of Barcelona’s academy who have gone on to have very good careers in MLS, including Victor Vazquez and Jonathan dos Santos, among others. Most of those players have been deep-lying midfielders, however, and Puig is more of an attacking mid. Again, that’s a role LA could use, but will the numbers work? If they do, can he adjust quickly and help elevate the team?
We haven’t seen any of the major reputable U.S.-based reporters advance this story yet, so I still call it a rumor, but we’ll see if this one develops, and we’ll keep you posted.
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