Barcelona ‘could terminate Gerard Pique’s contract next summer if he doesn’t play in 35% of games this season’… as ‘Xavi plans to replace veteran defender with Inigo Martinez’
- Gerard Pique, 35, has a contract at Barcelona until the summer of 2024
- However, the Catalan giants could reportedly release the defender a year early
- Pique has become a fringe player and has featured just once in LaLiga this term
- Xavi is keen on Athletic Bilbao defender Inigo Martinez because he is left-footed
Gerard Pique will reportedly leave Barcelona next summer if he fails to play in 35% of games this season.
The veteran centre-back has a contract at the Nou Camp until 2024 but Barca are keen to see him leave as he has become a fringe player but remains the highest earner in the squad.
The Catalan giants continue to struggle with financial difficulties after a summer of big spending and need to cut their wage bill.
Gerard Pique has a contract at Barcelona until the summer of 2024, but can leave earlier
The 35-year-old has become a fringe player and has featured just once in LaLiga this term
According to Mundo DeportivoBarcelona will have the option to terminate Pique’s contract a year early if he features in less than 35% of games this term.
Factoring in league games, domestic cup games and European matches, the club are likely to play between 50 and 55 games this season – meaning Pique cannot play more than around 19 times if Barca want to see him leave next summer.
So far, the 35-year-old has only appeared once in LaLiga – playing the full 90 minutes against Cadiz – and came on as a half-time substitute against Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League.
Mundo Deportivo also claim that if Pique leaves, Xavi is keen to replace him with Athletic Bilbao centre-back Inigo Martinez.
Xavi is reportedly keen to replace Pique with Athletic Bilbao centre-back Inigo Martinez
The Barcelona boss is said to favor Martinez, 31, because he is a left-footed centre-back
Barca reportedly failed to make a £12m bid for the 31-year-old last month, but he is out of contract in the Basque Country next summer.
Martinez is left-footed, which is said to appeal to Xavi as his current centre-back options are all right-footed – Pique, Ronald Araujo, Jule Konde, Andreas Christensen and Eric Garcia.
Pique has previously suggested he would retire if he became a back-up at the Nou Camp and did not want to play for any other club.
The Spaniard is fifth on Barcelona’s all-time leading caps list with 608 to his name and has won eight LaLiga titles and three Champions Leagues during his time at the club.