Barcelona´s young star Cristian Tello has made clears his intentions of staying at Barcelona for the long-term, yet longs for more first-team action.
The 22-year-old Barcelona youth product has been unable to establish regular first-team football this season under new coach Gerardo Martino. The Spanish international has found himself behind Pedro, Neymar, Alexis and occasionally the more central-minded Iniesta in the Barca pecking order.
Tello, who played more often under former coaches Pep Guardiola and Tito Vilanova, has started just two La Liga games this campaign - appearing much more as a late substitute against tired legs.
The lack of first-team football has been noted by Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers, and the Reds were placed as heavy favourites by the bookies – as low as 1/3, to bring in the Spanish youngster before the end of the January transfer window.
Tello has seemingly quashed reports linking him with a move away from Barcelona. However, according to recent reports, despite being happy at the club, the Barca startlet has, by his own accord, realised that he has not featured as much as he would have liked, and that opportunities should be taken when they present themselves:
"The most important thing is to play, get time on the pitch and work hard," he said.
"You always have to give the best of yourself and take advantage of your opportunities. I’m happy here.
"I'm not playing as much as I did last year, but I'm not giving up."
Despite Neymar’s recent injury, the Barcelona winger is likely to still find opportunities hard to come by due to the return of Lionel Messi and the scintillating form of fellow Spanish international Pedro.
As Barcelona enter the business-end of the season, the key players will be used more regularly as key Champions League and Copa Del Rey clashes will coincide as well as vital league games which will ultimately decide arguably the closest three-way La Liga title-race in recent history.
Moreover, as a result of this summer’s World Cup, Tello will want to be involved in Brazil. However, should his lack of playing time continue, it will be almost inevitable that Vincent Del Bosque overlooks the winger in favour of those that have been playing regularly throughout the season.
Whilst Cristian Tello feels he has a future at Barcelona, that should not discard the possibility of any potential move away from the club on loan – a deal which would benefit the player massively.
Therefore, it would not be surprising to see Cristian Tello finally listen to his own words and take advantage of a great opportunity such as the one that Liverpool could well offer.
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