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Barcelona face losing Rej Manaj – despite Messi’s support

Barcelona are expected to lose Rej Manaj at the end of this season.

A star with Barca B, Manaj has never tasted first-team football with the Catalans, despite the admiration of captain Lionel Messi.

Messi rates Manaj as the most technically-gifted striker at the club and Okdiario reports the Barca captain told Argentine media earlier this season: “I like Rey Manaj, he has a perfect technique for a nine.”

But the Albania international has found himself in limbo this term due to his age. A 24, should he play for Barca’s first team, he wouldn’t be allowed to drop back into the B squad.

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For now, Manaj’s focus is on helping Barca B win promotion to the Segunda Division, though this summer offers from Italy, Germany and the Primera will be tabled.

Manaj signed for Barca last year from Albacete and this season with the B team he has scored nine goals in 16 appearances, which also include two assists.

Before Albacete, Manaj spent time with Inter Milan. The Spanish outfit surprised many inside the game when coughing up €2m for the striker before eventually selling him to Barca for €700,000. His contract with Barca runs to 2023.

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