Barcelona defender Gerard Pique is being strongly linked to a move away from the Camp Nou in January. The 27 year-old, who was a regular in the first XI for the Catalans over the past 6 years, has been dropped by new manager Luis Enrique this season. There are reports of extreme friction between the player and the manager, and the former may not mind Pique’s exit too much.
As expected, a whole host of Premier League clubs have been linked to the former World Cup winner. Manchester United and Chelsea are at the front of the queue, but reports today from French magazine Le 10 Sport have stated that Pique’s destination may well be Germany. According to the story, former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola has told Pique he wants him at the Bayern Munich, his current club. At the El Chiringuito in Neox, Guardiola reportedly said to Pique, “Be quiet Gerard, where I am, you will also be there.”
He will not come cheap for any team that decides to buy him, with a transfer fee of £24 million being mentioned. But, Pique was one of the most important components of Guardiola’s all-conquering Barcelona side of 2009 and there have been several meetings between the two Spaniards over the past few weeks, in the presence of the former’s missus Shakira. They were even photographed together recently outside Thiago Alacantara’s house. Thiago is another player who was with Guardiola at Barcelona before following his manager to the German giants.
Pique, a part of both Barcelona’s and Manchester United’s youth systems, was sold back to the Catalans in 2008 after failing to establish himself in the first team at Old Trafford. Now, Louis Van Gaal’s men face a big crisis in their defence and need a strong and experienced centre-back to shore up the backline. Pique fits the bill perfectly.