Barcelona is now looking for a defensive replacement after Gerard Pique‘s announcement of sudden and immediate retirement from football. The veteran has announced that the next Barcelona game will be his last one. Barcelona will get relief from the huge wage of the Spanish defender.
Reports from Spain suggest that Barcelona already has an agreement to replace their legendary defender with Athletic Bilbao’s Inigo Martinez. The Spanish defender is available for free next summer and also has vast experience in La Liga.
Xavi is in search of a left-footed central defender and Martinez fits in that stature. The Camp Nou side is speaking with Martinez for a long time. Martinez was very near to joining the Spanish giant but Athletic was not keen to let go of their star man.
Rumours suggest Barcelona will not look into any deal for now. But if any major happens during World Cup, they will be forced to do a deal in January.
Barcelona Manager Confirmed Their Search for Pique’s Successor
During Friday’s Camp Nou press conference, Xavi revealed his reaction to Pique’s decision of leaving the game permanently. He spoke: “The Almeria game will be conditioned by Pique’s goodbye. He deserves all the praise that comes his way. I have been lucky enough to be his teammate and now his coach. Circumstances have led him to take this decision.”
The manager also added about the current scenario with Pique that led to his retirement. Xavi revealed: “He was not playing regularly and he didn’t feel as important. He had a contract and decided to leave it, which is a sign of his greatness. He has done everything here, is one of the best centre-backs ever, and his decision is respected.”
Xavi thinks that his former teammate has the status of remembering him as “a club legend”.
Manager Xavi also hinted about the club is looking for an immediate replacement for the retiring defender. A left-sided defender will be the perfect cover for the loss of Gerard Pique.
The manager also said: “But knowing that Gerard is going, maybe we will look for a centre-back in January. We will analyse things after the Osasuna game.”
After again getting demoted to Europa League, Barcelona’s financial issues have hit a new low. After spending huge in the summer, The board has decided not to pay a huge price for any defender. With six months left in his contract, Inigo Martinez is the perfect option for them.
Athletic Bilbao is not ready to enter any negotiation regarding this deal. They are trying very hard to renew Martinez’s deal. But if they are unable to do so, the club will consider selling him in January.