Real Betis loanee Carles Alena has risked upsetting fans of Barcelona by refusing to rule out a future move to Real Madrid.
The central midfielder joined Los Verdiblancos on a loan deal until the end of the season after not obtaining a great deal of playing time at the Camp Nou, and would not rule out a move to fierce El Clasico rivals Madrid.
“A lot of things can happen in football, you never know,” Alena explained toCadena Ser when asked directly if he would join Madrid.
“Obviously they are a rival and I have been a Barcelona fan all my life, so it would be tough, but I've been taught that you never say never because so many things go on in the game.
“But obviously they're a big rival and I have never been a Madrid fan.”
The 21-year-old La Masia youth graduate made 27 first-team appearances for the club last season after being promoted from their B team.
However, the central midfielder has been frozen out of action for Ernesto Valverde’s team this summer and had not featured since the opening day of the season – a 1-0 loss at Athletic Club Bilbao.
Last month saw Alena more heavily involved – he came off the bench at Real Mallorca before playing the full game at Inter.
Alena played the first half of that match before being substituted off but has struggled to feature since, with the club well stocked with central midfielders.
Frenkie de Jong, Sergio Busquets, Arturo Vidal, Ivan Rakitic and Artur Melo are the first-choice central midfielders at the club, with academy product Riqui Puig also said to be favoured among the Blaugrana staff.