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Busquets, Guardiola and Luis Enrique


Sergio Busquets came out with one of those phrases that provokes a juicy headline, saying he’d only leave Barça if Guardiola or his wife asked him to. Straight after, he added that he was sure that neither one nor other would ask him such a thing, but the phrase was already out there. Which possibly contributed to Luis Enrique’s bad mood in yesterday’s press conference, in which he was particularly terse. Busquets, at the end of the day, was saying that Guardiola had greater sway over him than his current coach. Although that wasn’t maybe his intention, the truth is the player made it sound like a cutting remark.

Someone who knows far more about Barça than I do deciphered the message for me. What Busquets has right now is a verbal agreement to renew his contract, but it’s not final. And the circumstances mean he’s in charge of the negotiations. Completely in charge. Over the course of the season he’s shown he’s one of the fundamental pillars of the team. Every time he’s rested it’s noticeable. And seeing that Guardiola, Soriano and Txiki will be together at Manchester City gives him the idea that it would quite nice up in England. He’d feel at home, basically. So Barça will need to make a big effort over his renewal, and even more so after this little nod and wink.

Barça are struggling to meet their obligatory income-expense-debt ratio. That’s why Luis Enrique ended up without Nolito, despite insisting on his signing. But the feeling is that Barça are going to have enough difficulties with the contract renewals (Neymar’s is on the horizon, and it’s going to be a biggie) to be thinking about new signings. And China are pushing hard, with cases like Arda and Alves. Although, who knows, maybe Alves leaving, now that Aleix Vidal covers his position, or even Sergi Roberto, could be a useful opportunity. But overall things looks tough. The price of a footballer is going up.