News Live Scores
Transfers

'Never say never' to Real Madrid move, admits Barcelona midfielder Alena

21:14 EAT 09/01/2020
Carles Alena Barcelona 2019-20
The midfielder has struggled for first-team action at Camp Nou but says he couldn't rule out a switch to the Santiago Bernabeu

Barcelona midfielder Carles Alena has suggested he would be open to joining Real Madrid.

The 22-year-old agreed a deal last month to move to Real Betis for the rest of the season, having struggled for regular football under Ernesto Valverde at Camp Nou.

Alena will return to Barca at the end of 2019-20 but his long-term future remains in doubt.

And, while he accepts it would be a difficult decision to make, the player has refused to discount the idea of moving to arch-rivals Madrid.

"Football has many turns," he told Cadena SER when asked if he would ever play for Los Blancos.

"I've been a Barca fan all my life. It would be tough, but they've always taught me 'never say never'. But, for me, they are a rival team."

Alena started the La Liga defeat to Athletic Bilbao on the opening day of the season and played just four more times for Barca before joining Betis.

However, despite being frustrated with his lack of game time, he insists there is no bad blood with Barca boss Valverde.

"He never told me why he didn't call me up," Alena said. "But I had a very good relationship because of everything he has done for me. I hope that we meet in the future.

"I called him to say goodbye. He knew that I wanted to go. At the start of December, I was pretty sure. He knew that my decision was almost taken.

"They were complicated months, but in no moment was there a bad relationship with the coach. He decided that and he rules. I tried to get back as soon as possible, and it took a few months. It surprises you, annoys you and p***** you off a bit."

Alena joined Barca's youth system as a seven-year-old back in 2005, and made close to a century of appearances for the club's B team.

However, since making his debut for the first team in 2016, he has played just 39 times in the following four seasons. 27 of those games came in 2018-19, but what had appeared to be a path to regular first-team action appears to have been blocked off.