Xavi will be forced to alter his midfield, as Sergio Busquets has decided to leave Barcelona at the end of the season.
The Spaniard, despite his ageing legs, established himself as one of Xavi’s most important players in a title-winning campaign. In a four-man midfield, Busquets sat the deepest and allowed the likes of Pedri and Frenkie de Jong to make the difference higher up the pitch.
With his current contract set to expire at the end of the season, Barcelona were keen for him to sign an extension.
But as per Marca, the 34-year-old has informed the club of his decision to unravel a new chapter in his illustrious career that saw him lift three Champions League trophies in Blaugrana colours.
Busquets decides to leave Barcelona
It is added that Busquets’ decision is influenced by his desire to leave before he’s past his prime and ensure his legendary status remains unblemished by poor performances. Although Xavi still trusts in his qualities and wants him to extend his stay.
Saudi Arabia is seen as the most likely destination for the veteran midfielder. His former teammate Lionel Messi is also linked with a move to the Saudi Pro League. Interestingly, the two were expected to reunite at Camp Nou, but the club’s precarious financial situation has made the possibility of it all but impossible.
The announcement of Busquets’ exit after 15 years of service could be made immediately, but he could also wait for Barcelona to first officially win the league title after a four-year drought. The opportunity to do so will come against their rivals Espanyol on Sunday.
Busquets’ departure will leave Xavi with no defensive midfielder, prompting the club to prioritise the midfield department ahead of the pursuit of another attacking addition. Sofyan Amrabat of Fiorentina is the only midfielder with whom Barcelona have concretely been linked in recent months.