Barcelona are considering asking Carles Puyol to retire from international football as talks begin over his contract extension.
The 34-year-old’s current agreement expires in June 2013, yet although Barca are keen to tie him to a longer deal they believe his best interests will be served if he quits La Roja to concentrate on his club career as has suffered with injury over the last 18 months.
Director of football Andoni Zubizarreta is due to open negotiations on his return from holiday but, according to El Economista, he will ask Puyol to announce his retirement from Vicente Del Bosque’s team or introduce a clause in his contract that would see a reduction in salary if he continued to participate internationally.
It is believed former boss Pep Guardiola was unhappy when Puyol decided to continue with La Roja after the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, which it was understood would be his last major tournament, but he was convinced by Del Bosque and Fernando Hierro to carry on for another two years until after Euro 2012.
However, Puyol was forced to miss the tournament in Poland and Ukraine with a knee injury, leaving him on 99 caps, and ideally Zubizarreta would like the player to take part in just one more fixture before calling time on his international career, ensuring he joined players such as Raul, Xavi Hernandez, Xabi Alonso and Zubizarreta himself who have reached the three-figure mark.