Italian side Spezia are close to signing Barcelona striker Rey Manaj on loan until the end of the season. According to Fabrizio Romano, the Albanian international will be joining Spezio on loan with an option to buy for €3 million. The striker has also reportedly agreed personal terms with the Italian club.
Rey Manaj to Join Spezia on Loan
Improving the Attacking Depth
Vincenzo Italiano had been keen on adding a new forward this summer. Spezia had signed a number of forwards on loan last summer. Despite finishing a lowly 15th, Spezia were the joint ninth-highest goalscoring team in Serie A last season. But players like Roberto Piccoli, Diego Farias and Andrey Galabinov left the club at the end of last season. The loss of the forwards created a big hole in the attacking department.
Rey Manaj joins Spezia on the back of an impressive pre-season with Barcelona. The striker was involved in all five of the pre-season friendlies and had scored four goals, including a hat-trick during pre-season for the Catalan giants.
Return to Italy
Manaj started his journey in Italy in 2008 after joining Piacenza youth academy. The Albanian spent four years with the club before joining Cremonese. The striker made his professional debut with Cremonese in 2014 in the third division of Italian football. Manaj’s impressive debut season saw Inter Milan sign the Italian a season later.
Manaj made six appearances in his debut season, but failed to break into the Nerazzurri first-team. He spent the next three seasons on loan with Pescara, Pisa and Granada respectively. The Albanian moved to the Spanish side Albacete in 2018 on loan from Inter Milan with an obligation to buy.
He caught the eye of the Barcelona reserve side after a good season and a half with Albacete. Manaj has been part of the Barcelona reserve side since last year. The striker has made 30 appearances and scored 14 goals during his time with the Blaugrana reserve team.
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