Earlier today, Javi Miguel of AS came out with a report stating that Sergio Busquets was unlikely to continue at Barcelona beyond the ongoing campaign and that Xavi had already been informed of the 34-year-old’s decision.
Now, building on that, Luis F Rojo of MARCA has provided a more definitive update on the matter, stating that Busquets has indeed decided to leave Barcelona at the end of the season and has internally informed the club about it.
The club captain’s current contract expires on June 30 and Barça had sent in a fresh contract offer for one year with an option for another twelve months based on the number of appearances.
However, the terms of the new deal would have meant that Busquets would have to accept a salary of almost one-third of his current wages. While money was never a major factor in his decision, the reduced offer did not do much to convince him either.
Manager Xavi Hernandez, for his part, has always been intent on keeping hold of his former teammate and current captain. But it seems like there will be a parting of ways at the end of the season.
With players returning to training today after a small holiday, Busquets is understood to have told those within the club that he wishes to leave and only an official announcement is pending at this point.
The former Spanish international was reportedly mulling over the possibility of leaving for some time now. It has not always been easy for Busquets in recent years, with Barcelona going through a lean phase and the club veterans being targeted by a section of supporters.
And, now that he is set to lead Barça to the La Liga title this season, the 34-year-old feels it is the perfect time for him to call time on his stint at Spotify Camp Nou.
The only thing that remains is an announcement, which Busquets could decide to make imminently or wait until the La Liga title is won, which might happen against Espanyol later this weekend.
Having made his debut for the first team back in 2008 under Pep Guardiola, Busquets has established himself as a legend at Barcelona. And, as things stand, it seems like a goodbye is on the horizon.
A move to Saudi Arabia or the USA could be on the cards for the 34-year-old. And while some reports have suggested that Busquets’ departure could affect Barcelona’s chances of re-signing Lionel Messi, that is unlikely to be the case.