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Xavi tells Gerard Piqué he won’t be a starter next season - report

The manager supposedly also spoke of his lack of focus and high salary

FC Barcelona v SSC Napoli: Knockout Round Play-Off Leg One - UEFA Europa League Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

FC Barcelona manager Xavi has spoken with his player and former teammate Gerard Piqué, and has, according to rumors, told the defender he won’t be a regular starter anymore.

The 35-year-old defender has been a stalwart in Barcelona’s defense for more than a decade but that could be coming to an end.

Xavi supposedly told him he’s no longer at the required level to start regularly, particularly due to recurring injuries. The manager also reportedly complained about the player’s high salary and his various distractions in his business pursuits.

The rumors come from a controversial figure who has clashed with Piqué in the past: Marçal Lorente. Piqué has accused Lorente of being a “puppet” of Josep Maria Bartomeu, the club’s former president, who has been heavily criticized from all corners for his management of Barcelona.

However, they echo other similar reports published in Mundo Deportivo, Catalonia’s most popular sports paper.

The report concludes that Piqué was unwilling to open a door to retirement or a transfer to another club. However, he reportedly promised Xavi he will train as hard as ever to be in top shape. And in addition, he is willing to reduce his salary to enable the club to make signings to make the team more competitive. In fact, he could be a key in convincing other veterans to reduce their salaries. That’s something the club desperately wants in order to make moves in the transfer market and comply with La Liga’s financial rules.