Barcelona has sent young midfielder Carles Alena on loan to fellow LaLiga club Real Betis until the end of the season.

Spain Under-21 international Alena started Barca's first league game of the campaign but has struggled for playing time since, featuring just three more times in the top flight.

Speaking this month, head coach Ernesto Valverde admitted he would have liked to have used Alena more often this term given his impressive display against Inter in the Champions League.

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The 21-year-old, who worked his way through the academy ranks and has made 39 first-team appearances, will now link up with Betis for the second half of 2019-20.

The six-month loan deal, confirmed on Barcelona's official website on Saturday, does not include any purchase option.

Alena is in line to make his debut for 13th-place Betis away at Deportivo Alaves on January 5.