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The LA Galaxy have made an eye-opening move for Barcelona midfielder Riqui Puig, signing the 22-year-old La Masia academy product to a three-and-a-half-year contract. 

Barcelona confirmed that the club reserves the right to buy back Puig while it also negotiated a 50% sell-on fee—meaning that if the Galaxy sell Puig, Barça will collect half of the eventual transfer fee. It’s nevertheless a surprising turn of events for a player once thought to be a core part of Barcelona’s rising nucleus.

“It is now time to start a new exciting adventure that is going to challenge me to give my all,” Puig said, per the Galaxy

After coming up through La Masia, Puig made his debut for the senior team in 2018; however, the midfielder struggled for playing time with only 57 appearances (15 starts) spread across four seasons. 

Puig made his most appearances (24) for Barcelona during the 2020–21 season, when the club won the Copa del Rey. Last season, Puig made only 18 appearances across all competitions, and he was left out of Barcelona’s U.S. tour, which included stops in Miami, Las Vegas, Dallas and New York. Puig, meanwhile, heads to L.A. on deadline day for MLS’s secondary transfer window. He will not occupy a Designated Player spot on the club’s roster.

“We are pleased to welcome Riqui to the LA Galaxy,” Galaxy manager Greg Vanney said in a statement. “Riqui is a very technical and well-educated player with incredible experiences for his age. He will fit seamlessly into our group and style of play.”

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