Fabrizio Romano names prime contender to replace Gerard Pique at Barcelona

After Gerard Pique leaves Barcelona following their match against Osasuna on Tuesday, the Blaugrana could be on the hunt for their third central defender in the space of six months.

During the summer, Jules Kounde and Andreas Christensen arrived at the club, but injury issues have meant that Pique has been used more than the planned for. Fitness problems have dogged Kounde, Christensen and in particular Ronald Araujo, leaving Barcelona vulnerable at the back so far this season in Europe. On average, they conceded two goals a game.

Speaking in his exclusive column with Caught Offside, Fabrizio Romano confirmed that Barcelona would be after a replacement in January.

“It was emotional to see a legend like Gerard Pique bring his playing career to an end, but what next for the retiring defender, and what will Barcelona do to replace him?”

“For sure Pique dreams of returning to the Camp Nou in a different role in the future, but he has not decided anything now, it’s too early.”

It is taken as a given that Pique will return to the club and run as president some day. When that occurs is the only question and he even left a hint that he would during his farewell video.

Moving onto their January plans, Romano said that Barcelona were weighing up several names.

“As for Barcelona, they will look for new centre-back in January, they have multiple names on the list – Inigo Martinez from Athletic Bilbao is one of them, but not the only one.”

The noise coming out of Athletic Club is that Martinez will not be allowed to leave in January. The 31-year-old defender is out of contract next summer but Athletic have been steadfast in their refusal to negotiate an exit for him so far.

Tags Athletic Club Barcelona Gerard Pique Inigo Martinez
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