Ronald Koeman at odds with Leeds-linked Barcelona star over ‘leak’

Ronald Koeman: Happy with response

Ronald Koeman is reported to have torn into youngster Riqui Puig in a furious dressing room showdown after accusing the youngster of leaking information out of the club.

The Dutchman is overseeing an extremely difficult season at the Nou Camp. With the club in dissarray, Barca went into Sunday’s match with Levante down in 10th place.

To add to the club’s crisis, Lionel Messi looks poised to leave on a free transfer at the end of the season. Manchester City remain the most likely destination, though Juan Mata seemingly has other ideas.

There is also a battle for power going on behind the scenes amid the club’s Presidential elections.

With the club in apparent chaos, multiple Spanish outlets claim Koeman was also involved in an angry dressing room spat with Puig.

Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic, Nelson Semedo, Arthur and Arturo Vidal were all sold by Barcelona this summer.

And it’s claimed the youngster revealed to the press the names of the players Koeman had decided to move on.

That, according to El Pais, saw Koeman brand Puig “a leak” and almost saw the La Masia graduate sold himself.

Puig managed to stay at Barcelona, despite Koeman’s efforts to move him on.

However, he has featured in just three LaLiga games this season. Frenkie de Jong, Pedri and Sergio Busquets are all ahead of him in the pecking order.

Indeed, reports earlier this month claimed Barcelona hoped to send the player on loan to Leeds in January.

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Koeman still hopes for title push

Koeman, meanwhile, insists Barcelona are still in the LaLiga title hunt after a hard-fought 1-0 home win over Levante.

Barcelona had to rely on a late moment of magic from Messi to see off Levante. The visitors remain in the relegation zone after a 16th straight defeat at the Nou Camp.

The win moves Barcelona up to eighth and to within nine points of top two Real Sociedad and Atletico Madrid.

Ronald Koeman TEAMtalk

“Of course we can win (the title),” Koeman said at his post-match press conference.

“If we improve and we have more confidence and we improve our effectiveness (in front of goal), there’s a chance.

“There are still lots of games left remaining. We know our situation in the league.

“We knew after we lost against Cadiz we had to win and let’s hope that is good for the confidence.”

Messi’s winner, a crisp shot off the far post 14 minutes from time, was only his fifth league goal of the season.

“You have to realise they don’t make it easy for him,” said Koeman.

“He’s marked by lots (of players). But he’s shown he’s decisive.”

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