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La Liga rivals eyeing summer Bosman move for Barcelona youngster

Barcelona have several first-team stars whose contracts stand to expire at the end of the ongoing campaign.

Captains Sergio Busquets and Sergi Roberto are two of the most prominent names who could become free agents next summer. New signings Hector Bellerin and Marcos Alonso also see their deals run down in 2023, along with out-of-favour forward Memphis Depay.

Another Barcelona player whose current contract stands to end next year is second-choice goalkeeper Inaki Pena.

The 23-year-old has been promoted to the role of Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s backup this season and is all set to make his first-team debut in a few hours against Viktoria Plzen. But his contract situation has cast doubts over his long-term future at Spotify Camp Nou.

And according to Estadio Deportivo, as relayed by SPORT, Barcelona’s La Liga rivals Real Betis have shown an interest in signing Pena on a free transfer next summer.

Los Verdiblancos have seemingly identified the 23-year-old La Masia graduate as a potential target in case either of their goalkeepers Claudio Bravo or Rui Silva end up leaving at the end of the current campaign.

While Real Betis would not be able to compete with Barça in terms of the wages that they can offer Pena, Manuel Pellegrini’s side could offer him a chance at regular minutes, something that cannot be guaranteed at Camp Nou.

Ter Stegen is back to his best and is the undisputed starter between the sticks. So, the only minutes that Pena could get will come in the Copa del Rey or in the scenario that the German gets injured.

At Real Betis though, he would have an equal chance to compete for the starting goalkeeper’s slot with whoever among Bravo or Silva remains at the Benito Villamarin.

Barcelona, for their part, are happy with Pena and are ready to hand him a new contract, with negotiations reportedly likely to begin in January. But Pena could decide to leave in search of regular game-time, which Betis could offer him.

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