Ronald Koeman confirmed he's told Riqui Puig he may not get many minutes at Barcelona this season but denied telling him he doesn't count on him.
However. the Dutch coach does think the midfielder would be best off searching for a loan move away from the club so that he can play regular football.
"It's not true that I don't count on him," Koeman told TV3. "I was speaking with Riqui Puig yesterday. For me, the young players have to play. They can't not play.
"That's for Riqui, for Aleña, for Pedri... they have to play. I told Riqui that he has a future here but it's going to be tough at the moment because of competition in his position. I recommended that he goes on loan. At 20, the young players need to play."
Riqui Puig watched from the stands on Saturday as Barcelona closed their preseason with a 1-0 win against Elche in the Joan Gamper Trophy.
Koeman was happy with the performance but disappointed Barça didn't take more of the many chances they created throughout the game.
Barcelona's season begins next weekend when they host Villarreal at home in La Liga on Sunday.