• Barcelona youngster Riqui Puig is likely to leave Camp Nou in January
  • Leeds United and Arsenal are Puig's early suitors in the English Premier League
  • AC Milan is looking to loan the 21-year-old

After becoming an outcast in Barcelona, Riqui Puig is now linked to English Premier League clubs.

Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman has recently confirmed that Puig will be a piece of excess baggage this season. Looking to take advantage of the situation, Premier League clubs such as Leeds United and Arsenal are now considering a transfer move for the youngster, The Athletic reported.

Leeds has been handed a transfer boost for Puig as the Catalans are believed to be open to making him available in January.

However, the report added that the Whites are likely to face a tough competition as Arsenal is also keen to intensify its midfield with Puig being considered as a potential candidate.

It has been known that Marcelo Bielsa’s side has been eager to sign a midfielder and almost closed a deal with Bayern Munich for Michael Cuisance.

The Gunners, on the other hand, are not expected to revive its interest in Lyon star Houssem Aouar. Should Barcelona push through with letting go of Puig, Arsenal might make another attempt on him instead as Mikel Arteta’s side has already scouted him in the past.

Puig, who has earned comparisons with Barcelona legend Xavi Hernandez, has become a controversial figure at Camp Nou this season.

It can be recalled that Koeman reportedly accused the 21-year-old of “leaking” sensitive information in the dressing room.

The Barca manager has been transparent with his views on Puig and has told the media that the La Masia product would hardly be handed playing time under his management.

Instead, Koeman recommends Barcelona to loan Puig out in order to not hinder his progress as a player.

Ronald Koeman will take charge of his first competitive Barcelona game on Sunday when they play Villarreal in La Liga.
FC Barcelona's head coach Ronald Koeman AFP / Josep LAGO

"It's not true that I don't count on him," Koeman told TV3 in September. "I was speaking with Riqui Puig yesterday. For me, the young players have to play. That's for Riqui, for Aleña, for Pedri, they have to play.”

“I told Riqui that he has a future here but it's going to be tough at the moment because of competition in his position,” the coach added. “I recommended that he goes on loan. At 20, the young players need to play."

With Koeman appearing to be firm on his desire to loan out Puig, recent reports from Italy revealed that Serie A side AC Milan is now interested in acquiring the midfielder, several outlets from Italy, including Football Italia and Sempremilan reported.

According to the report, Milan is looking to capitalize on its good relationship with Barcelona and hopefully swing a loan deal for Puig.