It was always going to be a test of Xavi’s managerial credentials to see how he could handle players that he used to play with and would’ve been close with, but in the case of Gerard Pique, it doesn’t look like he’s going to tolerate anything.
Pique has caused controversy in recent years due to his external business interests which may have impacted his form, while his well-publicized marital problems aren’t a great look for him either, so the latest reports are that Xavi had told him he’s no longer needed at the Camp Nou.
Offloading the 35-year-old could be difficult as it’s unlikely that any elite team will come in to match his salary, but CCMA are reporting that there is progress in the search for his replacement.
Jules Kounde has proven himself to be one of the best centre-backs in La Liga over the past couple of seasons and would be a huge upgrade on what Barca have just now, and it’s suggested that talks are at an advanced stage over a deal that could be worth around €60m.
The report also claims that Chelsea have a long-standing interest in the French star so there’s also a chance that this could force them into action, while it’s believed that Kounde’s arrival would officially spell the end for Pique at Barca.
Kounde won’t turn 24 until later this year and he would bring pace and the ability to bring the ball out of defence so he’s perfect for Barca’s style, and it looks like this move is now expected to happen.