Barcelona is now looking for a defensive replacement after Gerard Piqué’s announcement of sudden and immediate retirement from football. The veteran has announced that the next game against Barcelona will be his last. Barcelona will be relieved of the huge salary of the Spanish defender.
Reports from Spain suggest that Barcelona already have a deal to replace their legendary defender with Athletic Bilbao’s Iñigo Martínez. The Spanish defender is available for free next summer and also has extensive experience in LaLiga.
Xavi is looking for a left-footed centre-back and Martínez fits that stature. The Camp Nou winger has been talking to Martínez for a long time. Martinez came very close to joining the Spanish giants, but Athletic were unwilling to let their star man go. Rumors suggest that Barcelona will not seek any agreement for now. But if something big happens during the World Cup, they will be forced to make a deal in January.
The Barcelona coach confirmed the search for Piqué’s successor
During Friday’s press conference at Camp Nou, Xavi revealed his reaction to Piqué’s decision to leave the game permanently. He spoke: “The Almería match will be conditioned by Piqué’s goodbye. He deserves all the praise that comes his way. I have been lucky to be his partner and now his coach. Circumstances have led him to make this decision.
The technician also added about the current scenario with Piqué that led to his retirement. Xavi revealed: “He didn’t play regularly and he didn’t feel that important. He had a contract and decided to leave it, which is a sign of his greatness. He has done everything here, he is one of the best centre-backs in history and his decision is respected”.
Xavi believes that his former teammate has the status to remember him as “a club legend”.
Coach Xavi also hinted that the club is looking for an immediate replacement for the retiring defender. A left back will be the perfect cover for Gerard Piqué’s loss.
The coach also said: “But knowing that Gerard is leaving, maybe we will look for a central defender in January. We will analyze things after the game against Osasuna”.
After being demoted to the Europa League again, Barcelona’s financial problems have reached a new low. After spending big this summer, the board has decided not to pay too high a price for any defender. In the absence of six months of contract, Íñigo Martínez is the perfect option for them.
Athletic Bilbao is not willing to enter into any negotiations on this agreement. They are working very hard to renew Martinez’s contract. But if they can’t do it, the club will consider selling him in January.