TRANSFER TALK: GERARD PIQUE TO LEAVE FOLLOWING JULES KOUNDE SIGNING?
Barcelona are allegedly keen to sever ties with Gerard Pique after winning the race to sign Jules Kounde from Sevilla. On Thursday, Barcelona confirmed that they had pipped Chelsea to the signing of France international Kounde, who arrives at Camp Nou for a £42m fee. Kounde is the second central defender to sign for Xavi’s side ahead of the 2022-23 season, with Andreas Christensen also joining La Blaugrana as a free agent from Chelsea. With Ronald Araujo and Eric Garcia also competing for minutes in Barcelona’s backline, the writing is apparently on the wall for 35-year-old Pique.
Pique is still under contract at Barcelona until the summer of 2024, so any potential suitors would likely have to cough up a small fee to prise him away from Camp Nou. The former Manchester United man – who came through Barcelona’s youth academy – has spent the last 14 years on the books in Catalonia after leaving Old Trafford in 2008.
Pique has racked up 53 goals and 13 assists in 606 matches for Barcelona in that time, which puts him fifth in the club’s all-time appearance list behind Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, Xavi and Lionel Messi. The 102-cap Spain international has won a whopping 30 major honours during his time as a senior Barcelona player, including eight La Liga titles and four Champions League crowns.