The impending retirement of Gerard Pique may have come at the perfect time for Barcelona with the January transfer window right around the corner.
The cash-strapped Catalans are set to bank themselves an eye-watering £44million after their vice-captain opted to rip up the remainder of his contract and hang up his boots once the final whistle has blown against Almeria on Saturday (November 5).
The sensational figure will come as a welcome boost to Barca’s winter transfer budget. Boss Xavi is keen on pursuing several high-profile additions this January with the aim of toppling Clasico rivals Real Madrid to the title.
Having conceded only four goals all season, Barca can now prioritise attacking additions in the winter window and Xavi may even be able to afford another Robert Lewandowski. La Liga’s top scorer was Barca’s big-money arrival during the summer, costing a cool £43m from Bayern Munich.
However, their next highest scorers, Ansu Fati and Ousmane Dembele, have netted just three goals each for the Catalan giants and any lengthy injury to Lewandowski would surely leave their title hopes in tatters. Another world-class forward is understood to be the priority for Xavi when the window opens on January 1st.
According to reports from Spanish outlet Marca, Pique personally informed Barca president Joan Laporta of his decision to retire last week, stating it was in the best interest of the club.
“I have always said that after Barca there would be no other team, and so it will be,” said Pique, confirming his retirement with a heartwarming announcement on Twitter.
“This Saturday will be my last game at the Camp Nou.”
He added: “It’s been 25 years since I joined Barcelona, I left and came back. Football has given me everything. Barca has given me everything. You have given me everything. And now that that child’s dreams have been fulfilled, I have decided that it is time to close the circle…
“I will become one more fan, I will encourage the team and transmit the love for the team to my children, just as my family did with me.
“And you know me, sooner or later, I’ll be back. See you at the Camp Nou. Visca el Barca, always.”