Barcelona close to loaning out Rey Manaj to Championship club
There was an incredibly brief period in Barcelona’s history where some Cules were wondering if Rey Manaj might be the ideal alternate up front.
After a brief run in the team with Ronald Koeman at the beginning of the 2020-21 season and plenty of minutes in preseason, some had wondered if the Albanian international could do the job that Luuk de Jong would end up doing last season.
As it happened, the sporting directorate at Barcelona decided he was not the answer and opted to loan him out to Spezia in Serie A, with the hope they might end up paying the €2.7m buy clause in his contract.
Manaj made 30 appearances for Spezia but many were from the bench and his five goals did not tempt the Italian side into making that move permanent.
Mundo Deportivo say that he is on the verge of another loan move with definite end this time. Manaj is in England to complete a move to Watford, which will take the form of a loan deal until next summer. Manaj will then finish his contract and sign a new one with Watford, but the Blaugrana will retain a percentage of his rights for a future sale.
Barcelona will no doubt be frustrated that once again their efforts to raise funds from unwanted players is proving too tricky, even if this case is relatively small in scale compared to others.