Sergi Samper wants Barcelona return despite club being linked with new Sergio Busquets back-up

Eduardo Fernandez-Abascal
Sergi Samper

Granada midfielder Sergi Samper is targeting a Barcelona return in the summer once his loan spell at the Andalucian side expires. The Spanish midfielder says he is having a "positive" experience with the La Liga strugglers but his long-term goal is to establish himself at the Nou Camp.

The 22-year old midfielder arrived at La Masia aged six and progressed through the youth ranks of the Catalan side, earning comparisons with Sergio Busquets. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger tried to lure him to the Emirates Stadium in the summer of 2011 alongside his then team-mates Jon Toral and Hector Bellerin, but the midfielder decided to continue at the Nou Camp. He was rewarded with a first-team debut in the 2014-15 campaign.

Trending: Sergi Samper wants Barcelona return despite club being linked with new Sergio Busquets back-up

Barcelona proved last summer that they still have faith in his long-term future at the club by handing him a new deal until 2019, setting his release clause set at €50m (£42.9m, $53.4m).

However, he was promptly sent on loan to Granada and his future ahead of the 2017-2018 campaign is uncertain, amid reports that Barcelona are interested in bringing a new midfielder to back-up Busquets. They have accordingly been linked with the likes of Sourthampton's Oriol Romeu and Chelsea's Nemanja Matic.

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However, the Barcelona loanee hopes the club opt against signing a new holding midfielder and instead give him the chance to prove his worth at the Nou Camp.

"I don't know [what's going to happen] but what I want is to stay at Barcelona. It's my dream since I was little, I rejected offers because I wanted to be at Barcelona and my dream is to arrive to the first-team squad," Samper told Esports Cope.

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"It's impossible not to think [that I could have played at Barcelona this season when Busquets was out). I am a big Barcelona fan and what I want is to play for Barcelona. If I could have, I would have stayed [this season]. The club trust in me. I signed a new four-year deal in the summer but the manager had other options to play there and we decided [I should] move on loan to get some experience,"

"It has been a positive but tough year for me. Paco Jemez convinced me come to Granada, telling me that I was going to be an important player for him but he only lasted four games. Then Lucas [Alcaraz] came and it was a drastic change. It was hard for me to break in but I have already played in 21 games and I'm learning what it's like to play outside of Barcelona."

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