Barcelona are unsure about Gerard Pique’s physical condition ahead of the new season according to a report by Diario AS. They are determined to sign a new centre-back this summer as they are not confident he can play for a whole season uninterrupted.
Names like Jules Kounde, Kalidou Koulibaly and Inigo Martinez have all been identified as potential targets. Kounde, of Sevilla, is Xavi Hernandez’s first-choice target but prising him from the Sanchez-Pizjuan for a reasonable fee is proving difficult indeed.
Koulibaly, of Napoli, and Martinez, of Athletic Club, are more realistic targets as both see their contracts expire in 2023. As for Pique, the 35-year-old has been on the record as saying that he will not fade gently into the good night as a substitute. He will not accept his Barcelona career ending with him sitting on the bench.
With this in mind, it is proving to be a difficult situation to manage. If Barcelona are to bring in a top-class centre-back this summer, as is their ambition, it is going to become even trickier.