HomeSportsFootballBarcelona could need new defender after first-team star talks about exit

Barcelona could need new defender after first-team star talks about exit

Barcelona could be in the market for a top quality central defender next summer after Gerard Pique indicated that this season could be his last at the Camp Nou. The 34-year-old has no plans to join another club, as he made it clear that he will be hanging up his boots when he bids adieu to his boyhood club.

Pique came through the ranks at the famed La Masia academy before leaving Barcelona to join Manchester United in 2004. He returned to the Catalan capital four years later in 2008 after failing to nail down a regular spot in Sir Alex Ferguson’s team and has gone on to write his name in the Barcelona history books.

The Spain international has gone on to make 568 appearances for his hometown club, amassing eight La Liga titles, three Champions League trophies and numerous domestic cups. Pique remains a key player under Ronald Koeman, but indicated recently that he could call time on his career in 2022 after 13 seasons with the Barcelona first-team.

“I will retire at Barca,” Pique told La Sotana. “This could be the last season, yes. I go year after year, so I cannot guarantee that I will be there next season. The day I feel that I can’t help Barca anymore, I will retire.”

During his interview, Pique also spoke about the bright future that lay ahead for Barcelona with a number of young players progressing to the first-team through the academy. the likes of Ansu Fati, Pedri, Gavi and Riqui Puig have impressed in recent campaigns and are likely to carry the flag for a number of years to come.

The European Championship and World Cup winner also backed fellow central defender Samuel Umtiti. The Frenchman has come under criticism from fans for refusing to accept a move away from the club this summer after being told that he was not part of Koeman’s plans this season.

“Umtiti is fulfilling the contract with all obligations. People have to be empathetic. The attitude is impeccable. He has never missed a training session. Another thing is who signed his contract, a president who was voted by the partners.”


Barcelona players celebrate after beating Real Sociedad last weekend
Josep LAGO/AFP
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