The coach spoke with the centre-back and said he is not needed at the club
Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez had a meeting with Gerard Pique two weeks ago in which he told him he was needed for next season. The coach based his decision on Pique’s physical problems and his unprofessional conduct off the pitch.
The meeting was tough because Xavi spoke directly to the captain. He does not question his footballing quality, which is undeniable, but his capacity to physically endure a season like the one that’s coming up. His main issue off the field with Pique is his multiple other business interests.
Xavi thinks Pique leaving in the most dignified way possible is the best option, especially if he renounces some of the money Barcelona owe him, like Puyol did at the time he left. However Pique said this would not be happening and wanted to combat Xavi’s arguments. Pique said he would train harder than ever to get back to his best form and abandon some of his other commitments.
Xavi insisted that he wanted a centre-back who he could build a competitive team on and said he did not see Pique in that role. Kounde’s name was mentioned. The coach was trying to make the player see he would not get that many minutes, but the player is determine to stay.
The issue is in Mateu Alemany’s hands now. He has to negotiate with the players who aren’t needed. Pique has a deal until 2024 and Barcelona already owe Pique around 40m euros from payments that have been deferred. The chances of him staying for now are at 99 per cent.
The information was revealed by Marcal Llorente but confirmed by SPORT, and it reflects Xavi’s intention not to be ‘married’ to any player. Xavi is willing to sacrifice the ‘sacred cows’ of the dressing room to help the club improve.