There is an old English saying that too many cooks spoil the broth. The same may be manifest in Barcelona. The Catalan giants made great efforts to build a team of great players to ensure that Xavi Hernandez succeeds at trumping Real Madrid this season.
Following a dour 2021/22 season, mired with financial constraints and irregularities, Barcelona may have turned a page as they have been brilliant in the La Liga this season. They still trail Real Madrid, who have yet to drop any points domestically and internationally.
The new squad that Barcelona has built this season may be producing the results on the pitch, but it has come with its attendant problems. Xavi has tread on some toes in the dressing, and they belong to some players who have supported the club during their trying times. Gerard Pique is at loggerheads with Xavi over playing time, and his playing days at Barcelona may have reached its end.
Gerard Pique and Xavi may be friends and former teammates at Barcelona, but like in every relationship, there are frictions. There seems to be friction between Pique and Xavi, and it is seeking to tear them apart. Several reports suggest that the relationship between the pair has completely broken down as the club tried to force the midfielder into retirement.
Atletico Madrid are looking to cash in on the breakdown in the relationship between Xavi and Pique to land the experienced defender. Okdiario via the Mirror, reports that the Madrid-based side expect to make a January bid for the former Manchester United defender.
Barcelona are not opposed to the move as they are doing everything possible to secure Pique’s exit. The 35-year-old defender is unhappy with his situation at the club and may be interested in leaving in January.
One grievance Pique has with the club is his lack of playing time and the recent leaking of his contract details. Pique had been in discussions with the Catalan giants over a new deal. The deal, which includes a reduced wage, was yet to be agreed upon before things took a turn. Pique is looking unlikely to feature for the club again.
Barcelona signed several defenders this summer, and the rise of Ronald Araujo has seen Pique drop in the pecking order. Barcelona fortified their defence this summer with the signing of Andreas Christensen and Joules Kounde. It has led to Pique seeing less game time which has angered the multiple-time Champions League winner.
Recent injuries to Kounde and Araujo may boost his chances of featuring for the club again though it remains to be seen if he would be interested. The former Manchester United defender has a contract that runs till 2024, and Barca has been urging him to retire from football as they seek to save themselves £46million.
Diego Simeone is a big admirer of the Barcelona defender, and Atletico have signaled their intention to sign Pique in the January transfer window.
With Barcelona yet to scale their financial difficulties, they would appreciate anything that would get him off their wage bill, even though they’d prefer he retired.
Gerard Pique joined Barcelona from Manchester United in 2008 and has played 608 games for the club, scoring 50 goals.