It looks like Sergio Busquets has made a decision on whether to continue one more season at Barcelona or look for other challenges.
The answer appears to be the latter.
The veteran midfielder has reportedly decided to leave the Catalan side come the end of the season and has notified the club captains as well as manager Xavi Hernandez.
Xavi was thought to be pushing for Busquets to stay and sign an extension but the 34-year-old has decided to bring an end to his tenure. A tenure that has seen the central midfielder revolutionize his position and one of the pillars of Barcelona’s golden generation.
Given his debut by Pep Guardiola, he was a relative unknown who was thrown into the fire following the departure of Toure Yaya. His skills and abilities were quickly made evident as he formed one of the best midfields in football history alongside Andres Iniesta and Xavi. His impending exist closes that chapter as well.
He’s come under criticism the last several years, coinciding with a dark period in Barcelona history. The humiliating defeats in the Champions League led people to point the finger his way given his lack of pace — something he never truly had to begin with. Once other teams caught up to Barcelona, they were able to take advantage of that as the Blaugrana failed to have the right support system around him.
It’s why Busquets looked so much better whenever he played with Spain. Under Luis Enrique, he managed to still get the best out of Busquets by surrounding him with someone like Rodri who could cover the space around Busquets. Barcelona only recently started to do the same by going with four midfielders and having Frenkie de Jong serve the Rodri role.
Some believed his future was tied with that of Lionel Messi. If the Argentinian would come back to Barcelona, then Busquets would stay one more season. That no longer appears to be the case.
Barcelona has seen their share of iconic players leave the last couple of season. From the side that won the Champions League back in 2015, only Marc-Andre ter Stegen remains.
Busquets’ departure signals the end of an era.
He’s also a player the club won’t quickly replace. They’ve been trying to do just that for the better part of five years and still haven’t done so.
Despite his age, Busquets remains central to the way Barcelona play and his absence is always felt whenever he’s not on the pitch.
It’ll be interesting to see what Barcelona do considering they’re strapped for cash and can’t just go out in the transfer market to find a replacement.
As for where Busquets will go next, it’s very much up in the air. He has an offer from Saudi Arabia but he could also try out MLS as Inter Miami have long been rumored to be heavily interested.