Barcelona coach Xavi has told defender Gerard Pique he is no longer part of his plans at the club.
The Spanish international was recently told he is not wanted at the club due to unprofessional conduct off the field and his deteriorating physical condition, before his recent high-profile split with partner, Shakira amid cheating rumours.
Spanish media outlet SPORT also claims that Xavi’s primary issue with the player is his numerous business interests off the field, and it is believed that Pique is owed approximately £34.3million (€40million) by Barca for deferred payments.
The former Barcelona and Spain captain spoke to his former team-mate directly, and made it clear that Pique is not going to be included in his plans for the future.
Xavi, who played 312 games with Pique, wants to build his team around a defence that he can put his full faith in, and according to the Barca legend, that is something Pique cannot bring him.
But Pique, who has the fifth highest appearances for Barca with 602, is adamant that he can continue to play a part for Xavi, and has vowed to train even harder and even sacrifice some of his off-field interests.
The Spanish defender is the founder of a sport and media investment holding called Kosmos Holding, which he formed alongside four other partners, including Hiroshi Mikitani, the owner of Barca’s sponsor Rakuten.
It was also gathered that Pique is not thought to be willing to leave the club as he is still contracted until 2024.
SPORT’s reports also suggest that Sevilla’s Jules Kounde is a player who Xavi wants as a potential replacement for Pique.