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Barcelona ‘can cancel Gerard Pique contract next year’

Barcelona ‘can cancel Gerard Pique contract next year’

Barcelona can reportedly terminate the contract of Gerard Pique at the end of the season due to an existing clause in his deal.

The former Manchester United man has been a peripheral figure at Camp Nou since the summer signings of Jules Kounde and Andreas Christensen from Sevilla and Chelsea respectively.

Ronald Araujo and Eric Garcia are also ahead of Pique in the pecking order, and the 35-year-old has made just two appearances for Barcelona in all tournaments this term as a result.

Pique came on as a substitute in his side’s 5-1 Champions League thumping of Viktoria Plzen on September 7, and he played the full 90 against Cadiz in a 4-0 La Liga win three days later.

However, the centre-back was back among the replacements for the victory over Elche at the weekend, and he was allegedly involved in a dressing room spat with Xavi earlier this month.

Barcelona coach Xavi during the match on April 18, 2022© Reuters

It has been claimed that Xavi overheard Pique complaining about his lack of game time following Barca’s Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich, to which the Blaugrana manager responded: “And you’re going to play even less now.”

Pique is under contract at Barcelona for another 21 months, and he was initially expected to retire with the Catalan giants, but his fate may be out of his own hands.

According to Mundo Deportivo, if Pique fails to appear in 35% of Barcelona’s matches this season, the club can cancel his contract and let him walk out of the door for nothing.

Pique was told by Xavi in the summer that he would find it difficult to earn regular starts for Barcelona this season, but the Spain international accepted the challenge and wanted to fight for his place.

However, Pique is currently losing that battle, and Barcelona already have a ready-made replacement lined up in the form of Athletic Bilbao’s Inigo Martinez.

Athletic Bilbao defender Inigo Martinez pictured in April 2022© Reuters

La Blaugrana were strongly linked with a move for the 31-year-old over the summer and are reported to be in constant dialogue with his representatives over a transfer, with the defender out of contract next summer.

Martinez supposedly has no desire to sign a new deal with Athletic, and he is supposedly concerned that failure to pen fresh terms could see him relegated to the bench, leading to the possibility of a January move.

Since returning to Catalonia in the summer of 2008, Pique has scored 53 goals and provided 15 assists in 609 appearances for Barcelona, putting him fifth in their all-time appearance chart behind Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets and Xavi.

The Spain international has won 30 major honours over the past 14 years with Barcelona, including three Champions League titles, three Club World Cups and eight La Liga crowns.

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