One of the biggest concerns for Barcelona ahead of the 2023/24 season is finding a new defensive midfielder. With Sergio Busquets’ contract expiring in 2023, the club does not have a natural replacement in the roster.
Busquets has no intention of signing a renewal with Barcelona as it stands, but according to a report by SPORT, Xavi has asked for his renewal. The player, meanwhile, considers his chapter at the Catalan giants closed, and wants to leave for the Major League Soccer in the summer.
Xavi considers that Busi can still play at a high level, and appreciates his professionalism, attitude, and leadership in the dressing room.
The main problem with extending Busquets’ contract is that Barcelona will not be able to increase or even match his salary from his current deal.
The captain is one of the highest-earners in European football, and Barça simply cannot sustain that due to the financial fair play imposed on them by La Liga. Therefore, the Spanish midfielder would have to accept a ‘lower salary’, which seems rather farfetched.
Barcelona have been scouting replacements for Busi, though, with the likes of Martin Zubimendi and Ruben Neves on their radar.
The signing of either does not come without trouble, though. The former recently extended his contract with Real Sociedad, and has a release clause of upwards of €60 million – an amount Barcelona cannot shell out in the summer.
As for the latter – his contract expires in the summer of 2024. Signing him in 2023 would, ideally, be easy, but Barça are expected to face a ton of competition. Arsenal were reportedly in the race for his signature, which could ignite a bidding war.
As it stands, the Blaugranes have not begun talks to extend Busquets, as the player is completely focused on the FIFA World Cup.