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‘I’d stay at Barcelona for life if it was up to me!’ – Alena eager to remain at Camp Nou amid Real Betis rumours

The Spanish midfielder is determined to kick on after being handed a rare start in the Champions League against Dynamo Kiev

Carles Alena has expressed his desire to remain at Camp Nou amid links with Real Betis, insisting he would stay at Barcelona for life if it was up to him.

Alena has appeared in 41 senior matches for Barca since graduating to the senior squad in 2016.

The Spanish playmaker has struggled to earn a regular place in the Blaugrana’s starting line-up, and was sent out on loan to Betis for the second half of the 2019-20 season.

He impressed during his six-month stint at Benito Villamarín Stadium, but returned to Camp Nou in August and has since set about forcing his way into Ronald Koeman’s plans.

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However, Alena has yet to feature for Barca in La Liga this term, and is already being linked with a permanent move to Betis in the January window.

The 22-year-old was an unused substitute as Koeman’s men fell to a 1-0 defeat against Atletico Madrid at Wanda Metropolitano last weekend, but was handed a rare start in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

The former Spain U-21 international starred  during a 4-0 win over Dynamo Kiev in Ukraine , and pledged to continue fighting for his place while rejecting the notion of an impending move away from Catalonia.

“My idea is to remain here,” Alena told reporters when quizzed on his future. “I feel physically well. I want to stay, if it was down to me, I would stay here all my life.

“The only path is to work and push hard in training. I gradually feel better.”

The midfielder added on the high standards he must live up to in order to prove he belongs at Camp Nou: “I’ve returned to feel like a footballer, playing 90 minutes.

“I think I’ve made the most of the opportunity given to me.

“With the work I do and what I do in training, little by little, I’m starting to feel like a footballer again. You can’t stop working because this is Barca, the best team in the world.

“The demand here is the highest because the best in the world are here.”

Alena could be given another chance to shine when Barca play host to Osasuna in a must-win La Liga clash on Sunday.


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