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Barcelona are in the middle of a terrible start to the season, having slipped down the league table due to poor results. And it seems trouble is brewing off the pitch as well as on it.
Ronald Koeman, who took over from Ernesto Valverde this summer, oversaw an exodus of players who weren’t in his plans, with Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic, Nelson Semedo and Arturo Vidal all allowed to leave.
And it seems young midfielder Riqui Puig was one of the players they were ready to part ways with, with reports suggesting Koeman told him to find a new club.
Puig was reportedly unhappy about being told he was free to leave, having come through the academy at La Masia, and apparently told various media outlets about the situation he was in.
Koeman is said to have been incensed about seeing the reports seep out in the media, and accused Puig of leaking the information. The Dutchman apparently told Puig: “You’re a leak!” in a furious dressing-room rant.
Since then, Puig has barely featured for Barca, and has played just three minutes this season.
He failed to make it off the bench on Sunday night as Lionel Messi scored the only goal of the game in Barca’s 1-0 win over Levante.
The young midfielder is well down the pecking order behind Frenkie de Jong, Sergio Busquets and Pedri, and has only appeared three times in the Champions League.
Barca have started the season poorly and have struggled for results, with the team failing to find a consistent way to play under Koeman.
They've managed just five wins from their opening 11 La Liga games, and are sat in 8th place in the table.
Lionel Messi, who is set to leave at the end of the season, has voiced his unhappiness about the way the team is playing and insisted he was tired of being viewed as the problem at the club.
Antoine Griezmann also didn't hide his displeasure with the way things are going after Barca were thrashed 3-0 by Juventus at the Nou Camp last week.
He said: "In the first half they got the better of us. It was a lack of everything: of desire, of attitude, willingness to run, all of it was bad.
"In the second half, there was already a three-goal advantage and it was easier for us but we had a bad day and a bad game.
- Barcelona FC
- La Liga
- Lionel Messi
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