Arsenal made a serious attempt to sign FC Barcelona midfielder Riqui Puig at the start of the January transfer window, according to a report.
Arsenal were on the hunt for a midfielder in the January transfer window, and they ended up loaning Martin Odegaard from Real Madrid. However, it seems they were initially looking elsewhere in La Liga at Barcelona’s Riqui Puig.
Fabrizio Romano tells the Here We Go Podcast that Arsenal were pushing to bring in the 21-year-old when the winter window opened, but Barcelona ended up shutting their attempts down.
“Arsenal were seriously trying to sign Riqui Puig at the start of the transfer window, on loan or on loan with buy option,” Romano said. “In the middle of January, Barcelona said no. He will stay. He will extend his contract.”
This is consistent with reports in the build-up to the January window, with The Athletic claiming Arsenal had watched the player on several occasions.
Barcelona clearly believe Puig is going to play a role in the second half of their season, despite the fact he’s only made three starts in the entire campaign so far – two of which were in the Copa del Rey. As a result, Arsenal had to look elsewhere.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that Puig was necessarily Arsenal’s first choice ahead of Odegaard.
At the start of the window, it didn’t really look like Odegaard was on the market, and it was only when he requested a loan move midway through that Arsenal made their attempt.
Perhaps if both players’ situations were clearer on January 1st, Arsenal wouldn’t have wasted time pursuing the Barcelona man.