Sergio Busquets had seemingly made up his mind and was set to leave Barcelona at the end of the season once his contract came to an end.
Things have changed.
According to Mundo Deportivo, the 34-year-old midfielder is now weighing the option of signing an extension. A couple of factors have reportedly made Busquets reconsider.
His intention had been to wind his contract down and then head to the United States and join MLS side Inter Miami. The plan was to reunite with former Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi. Reports came out recently that Inter Miami was close to luring Messi away from PSG.
Fresh off winning the World Cup, the Argentine is reportedly signing a new deal with the French giants. With Messi not going to MLS quite yet, Busquets is also willing to postpone his stateside move.
Another factor was a talk he had with Xavi where the Barcelona manager reiterated Busquets’ importance to the club. The Catalan side has been trying to find a replacement for him for the last couple of years but has been unable to do so.
They’ve been linked with players like Wolves’ Ruben Neves and Real Sociedad’s Martin Zubimendi. However, given Barcelona’s financial issues, they are unlikely to have the money — or be in line with Financial Fair Play — to sign either.
They could have the option to sign Busquets’ to a contract extension on a significantly reduced wage. Not only would that improve their situation with regards to the wage limits, but it could also free up space to improve other areas on the pitch.
One of the reasons Busquets was adamant his time at Barcelona had come to a close was the constant criticism following every high-profile defeat. He, alongside Sergi Roberto and Jordi Alba, are part of the old guard and many feel the club need to move on from them.
Despite his age, it is evident that the Blaugrana operate differently when he is on the pitch. That being said, he has become a liability, but the Catalan giants are stuck between a rock and a hard place because of their lack of funds.
Busquets has six months left on his deal and would be free to talk to other clubs at the start of the winter transfer window. If Barcelona are serious about extending his deal, they need to act quickly or risk having another Messi situation once the season is over.