Over the past couple of weeks, speculations surrounding the future of Barcelona captain Sergio Busquets have been mounting endlessly.
The 34-year-old has entered the final year of his contract with the club and is believed to be on his way out next summer, with a move to MLS outfit Inter Miami FC already being touted.
However, according to a fresh update from Victor Malo on Culemania, Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez has requested the renewal of Busquets as he sees the veteran midfielder as an important part of the team.
Despite having turned 34, the Spanish international still remains a vital cog in this Barça setup on the pitch as he has a clear understanding and vision of the way that Xavi wants to play.
On top of that, the manager also sees him as a key member of the team off the pitch as well due to his leadership and discipline. Someone like Busquets commands the respect of the entire team and sets an example to the players, old and new, through his behaviour.
It is for these reasons that Xavi wants to keep his captain around beyond the current campaign. And while speculations in the media are running rampant about his future, Busquets himself left the door open for continuing at the club in a recent interview.
However, for that to materialise, Barcelona would have to negotiate a lower contract with their club captain. Busquets is currently among the top three highest-paid stars in La Liga (gross salary) and the Catalans cannot continue to keep him on those wages if he were to renew.
Talks were initiated to try and reduce his salary last summer but they did not lead anywhere. And the report adds that any future negotiations with his agent, Josep Maria Orobitg, will not be straightforward either.
But, Xavi wants his former teammate to remain at Spotify Camp Nou beyond the current campaign and has requested the club to extend his contract. Whether there is any development on this front will be interesting to see.