Pep Guardiola On Gerard Piques Retirement
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Barcelona are plotting a move for Chelsea ace Jorginho and Manchester City star Bernardo Silva in January, according to reports. The retirement of Gerard Pique has opened up space in Barca’s budget to sign the duo.
Jorginho is out of contract at Chelsea at the end of the season. He has repeatedly been linked with a move to Barca on a free transfer.
However, the Mirror says the finances saved from Pique’s exit could trigger a move for the Italian in January. It is claimed Barca will offer around £22million plus add-ons in an attempt to secure a winter deal.
Meanwhile, Silva was linked with a move to the Nou Camp in the summer. But Barca were unable to raise funds through the sale of Frenkie de Jong.
City boss Pep Guardiola has always maintained he would allow a player to leave if he wanted to do so. But whether he would permit a mid-season exit is in question.
Pique announced his retirement on Thursday and played his final professional match against Almeria on Saturday. Pique will give up the remainder of his contract and Spanish outlet Sport says his exit will open up the potential of signing Silva.
The report claims Barca are looking at purchasing a midfielder, centre-back and right-winger. But they are also keen on bringing in the versatile Silva.
The 28-year-old is willing to make the move in January and Barca believe they have the finances to make the deal happen. Xavi views Silva as a key part of the project he is building and Barca will take the opportunity to sign him if it is possible.
The La Liga giants were initially planning to make a move for Silva at the end of the season. But Pique’s unexpected retirement provides the necessary funds.
Pique can boast eight La Liga titles and three Champions League winners medals among the many honours he won at his boyhood club. But after over 600 appearances in all competitions, he has called it a day at the age of 35.
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City boss Pep Guardiola managed Pique early in his career at Barca. And he paid tribute to the former Spain international when speaking to the media on Friday.
“It was surprising news,” Guardiola said. “He was here in England at a young age and after he made an incredible career at Barcelona.
“I wish him all the best. I know his mum and dad, incredible human being – he personality, a player for the big games.
“He never missed one, always performed in a high level. This is what top clubs need. The future will be bright because he is a smart guy. It was an honour for me to be his manager.”
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