Barcelona identify German defender as Pique’s successor, talks already held

Gerard Pique has been a wonderful servant over the years for Barcelona. But his time at the highest level of football may be coming to an end.

At 34, the veteran defender has been unable to produce his best form this season and has often been found wanting.

In addition, injury and fitness issues are also mounting for the centre-back while he has also been on the receiving end of criticism from fans and pundits.

All these factors have led to him considering the possibility of retiring at the end of the ongoing season, claims El Nacional.

The report claims that Xavi, who is set to be announced as the new manager of Barcelona, hopes to convince Pique to play for another year.

However, the 41-year-old is aware that it might not be possible and as a result, is already assessing possible replacements for the former Spanish international.

As per the report, one player that Xavi and Barcelona president Joan Laporta are now considering is Borussia Monchengladbach defender Matthias Ginter. The 27-year-old is in the final year of his contract with the Bundesliga outfit and will be a free agent at the end of the season, with talks over a new deal not progressing.

Ginter will be free to negotiate with clubs over a pre-contract agreement for a summer move starting in January. At 27, he is entering his peak years, has years of experience at the highest level of the game and is one of the best defenders in Bundesliga. All these factors make the German international an attractive target for Barcelona.

Apart from the Blaugrana, there is interest from Bayern Munich and Ginter’s former club, Borussia Dortmund, as well. However, the Catalan giants hope to lure him to Camp Nou with Laporta even already holding talks with the centre-half’s representatives to test the waters over a possible switch.

The report, however, does mention that playing in the Champions League would be key for Barcelona to be able to sign Ginter, something that is not certain currently. But there is still plenty of time left in the season.What did you think of this article?PoorPoorGoodGoodExcellentExcellent

Barca Universal

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