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Galaxy making transfer deal for Barcelona star midfielder Riqui Puig

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Barcelona’s Ricky Puig (left) fights for the ball with Getafe’s Gene Daconam on May 15. Galaxy have made a deal with Barcelona to acquire Puig. (Manu Fernandez/Associated Press)

Galaxyteam needs a saviormay have acquired on Thursday when he closed a deal for Barcelona midfielder Ricky Puig.

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The team was expected to make an official announcement later Thursday morning.

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Puig, who turns 23 next week, is one of the biggest stars of Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy in recent years. However, he has played in just 42 La Liga games for the first team since 2018, scoring twice.

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However, bringing in a young, dynamic player from a major European club is a coup for MLS, and Galaxy didn’t have to break the bank to make it happen.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Puig reportedly moved on a free transfer and signed a 3.5-year deal. Galaxy is funding the acquisition with earmarked allocation funds (TAM) and Barcelona retain the right to buy the player at any time. The club will also receive half of the income if Galaxy sells the player.

Puig, who is not based in Los Angeles, will have to complete a transfer certificate and immigration paperwork before he can train or play for the Galaxy. It is unknown how long this process will take.

To clear a spot under the MLS salary cap and open up a spot for Puig on the international roster, the Galaxy sent midfielder Ryan Raveloson to Auxerre in the French Ligue 1, saving $855,000 on TAM. The Galactica acquired Raveloson as a free transfer from French club Troyes last season, according to Athletic’s Paul Tenorio. The Galaxy did not dispute this report.

The moves come as the Galaxy (9-10-3) reverses as they begin their final push for a playoff spot. The team lost four of the last five games and enters Saturday’s game in Kansas City two points and two spots below the MLS playoff line with 12 games to go. Since 2016, the team has reached the playoffs only once.

Puig fills a gaping hole in central midfield that has done little for Galaxy this season. A powerful striker and a great dribbler, Puig has been compared to a Barcelona legend. Andres Iniestaanother La Masia product.

Galaxy started the season hoping that the Brazilian Douglas Costa could have played a point guard role, but injuries caused him to miss more minutes than he played, limiting him to two goals and an assist. Forwards Kevin Cabral and Samuel Grandseer scored just two goals.

Puig made 18 appearances in all competitions last season, his first for Barcelona under Javier Hernandez, but he was not in the team’s plans for this season. And the Spanish giant, under enormous financial pressure, decided to transfer him, leaving another 10 months on a contract that was reportedly earning him just over $4 million a year.

According to Transfermarkt, Puig’s market value was $27.5m when he signed his last contract with Barcelona in 2020. This figure has dropped to $7.7 million.

Puig is the second addition to Galaxy’s midfield in the last month after the Uruguayan midfielder. Gaston Brugman.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.


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