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Two Barcelona Players Turn Up To Pre-Season After Being Told To Stay Away By Xavi

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Two Barcelona Players Turn Up To Pre-Season After Being Told To Stay Away By Xavi

Barcelona duo Riqui Puig and Neto turned up for pre-season medicals on Monday, against the instructions of manager Xavi.

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The Blaugrana finished second in La Liga last season and this will be their first pre-season under Xavi's management.

Most players returned to the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper for mandatory medical tests and according to Mundo Deportivo, there were a few surprise faces.

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La Masia graduate Puig and backup goalkeeper Neto were told not to show up this week as they look to sort out their futures.

Image Credit: Alamy
Image Credit: Alamy

Xavi told the pair to return on July 11, when players who were involved in Nations League games will be coming back.

It is unknown if Puig and Neto will be involved in this afternoon's training session.

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Puig was once regarded as a top prospect and club legend Lionel Messi is a big fan of the 22-year-old.

He was brought into the first-team setup a few years ago and struggled for game time under former manager Ronald Koeman.

Many expected that to change, but it did not and he made 14 appearances in La Liga last season. Only two of those were starts and Xavi comfortably rates teenagers Gavi and Pedri above him.

Image Credit: Alamy
Image Credit: Alamy
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Meanwhile, Neto arrived in 2019 as support for Marc-Andre ter Stegen and has made 21 appearances in three years.

Xavi publicly praised Inaki Pena, who spent last year on loan at Galatasaray, back in March and would not be against using him as a deputy in the next campaign.

Neto intends to honour his contract until 2023 however.

Barcelona are still working on incomings and are hoping to unveil Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen later this week.

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A move for Leeds United winger Raphinha remains in the works and they are still interested in Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski.

To facilitate these incomings, Frenkie de Jong may have to be sold to Manchester United but president Joan Laporta says he will do everything in his power to keep the 25-year-old.

Image Credit: Alamy
Image Credit: Alamy

He said: "There are clubs that want him, not just United. We have no intention of selling him, he wants to stay.

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"Frenkie is considered as one of the best midfielders in the world by all the experts. We are happy to have him.

"I’m going to do everything I can in my power so that Frenkie stays here, but there’s also a salary issue and that would have to be adjusted."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Barcelona, La Liga

Daniel Marland
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