Barnes is making a big impact at Barnsley and Puel likes what he has seen.
“Time will tell if Barnes will come back or not," he said.
“I follow this player and I follow all the players. It is important to know all the players.
“I look at the last game of the under-23s to see if there are players who can help with the first team.
“It is important for the club to look at the Academy. Barnes has a lot of quality."
Meanwhile, Puel has a scheduled set out for Adrien Silva.
The 28-year-old Portugal international has not been able to play for City since his £22 million move from Sporting Lisbon on transfer deadline day.
Silva has taken his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but while they have agreed to a hearing, they will not grant him temporary registration, meaning he cannot play until he is registered on January 1, with his first available game being the FA Cup third round.
“It is important to manage him differently because of course he can't play any game," he said.
“For example after training sessions he can work on specific things and it is important to continue this opportunity for him.
“I hope you can keep a good level for January. He will be important for the team.