Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has insisted he will be staying at the club.
The 35-year-old has played 606 times for his boyhood club over 14 seasons, while also winning every major trophy available to him on multiple occasions.
According to transfer expert Gerard Romero, Pique told journalist Juli Claramunt:
“Of course I’m going to stay”
The Spanish international has been linked with a move away from the Camp Nou this summer, despite having two years left on his current deal.
Barcelona are reportedly in desperate financial trouble and need to balance the books in order to register new signings this summer. With Ronaldo Araujo and Eric Garcia ahead of the veteran in the pecking order, as well as new signings Andreas Christensen and Jules Kounde, Pique looks set for a season in the reserves.
As reported by Sport, Barca manager Xavi Hernandez told his former teammate that he is surplus to requirements at the Catalan giants. The report also claims that the World Cup winner is refusing to leave as he is still owed €40 million in deferred wages from the club.
Arsene Wenger claims Arsenal nearly signed Barcelona greats Gerard Pique and Lionel Messi
Speaking in a documentary about former Barca and Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas, legendary manager Wenger made a startling admission.
The Frenchman claimed that when he brought Fabregas over a 16-year-old in 2003, he also attempted to raid La Masia further. Lionel Messi and Pique were the two names he mentioned, as he told the ITV 4 program (as quoted by The Mail):
“To be honest when signing Cesc, we also contacted Messi and Pique. Pique in the end decided to go to Man United, Fabregas decided to join us, and Barcelona kept Messi of course! That’s how it happened.”
Fabregas would go on to score 57 times in 303 appearances for the north London side, before returning to his boyhood club Barcelona in 2011. The playmaker spent three seasons at the Camp Nou but was behind Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta in midfield, so moved to arch-London rivals Chelsea.
The World Cup winner spent five and a half seasons at Stamford Bridge, during which time he won two Premier League titles. Meanwhile, Pique joined Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United in 2004, but only played 23 times across four seasons at Old Trafford.