Hot Stove: Barcelona’s Puyol eyeing Red Bulls, NYCFC

IMAGE, FCBARCELONA.COM

IMAGE, FCBARCELONA.COM

Another Barcelona great may be looking to make a move towards the Big Apple.

Spanish media outlet MARCA reports veteran defender Carles Puyol has sent out “feelers” to both the New York Red Bulls and New York City F.C., indicating his interest in a move stateside come this summer.

Puyol, 35, has been a huge part of the Blaugrana’s success over the past 15 years, securing 391 appearances for the club through six La Liga titles and three UEFA Championships. A World Cup winner with Spain, Puyol has 100 caps to his name, with three goals on the international stage.

Over the past several years, Puyol has endured a series of issues with his right knee. Twice, he has had to seek arthroscopic surgery since 2011. Previous reports have claimed the injuries would force him into retirement, but MARCA claims he will seek out one last shot at the professional level in New York.

The Barcelona-New York connections are strong. The Red Bulls have established strong ties with the club stemming from club friendlies to various team signings, from superstars Thierry Henry and Rafa Marquez to role players like Albert Celades and Armando.

“My two fitness experts are Barcelona guys, and in fact, they’re in touch with the people at Barcelona almost every second of every day, so we have a good line of communication with the club,” Red Bull Sporting Director Andy Roxburgh said in a recent interview.

The New York City F.C. connections are even more apparent, with former Barcelona VP and current NYCFC CEO Ferran Soriano leading the way and former Blaugrana Director of Football Txiki Begiristain also overseeing the project.

Recently, Xavi’s name was also floated with a move to New York, but those rumors were denied by sources close to the situation.