BARCELONA

Barcelona: Piqué not on transfer list - but Suárez, Busquets and Alba are...

Ronald Koeman is counting on the centre-back, Cadena SER reports but not the other three - all of whom are under contract and don't want to leave.

Gerard Pique celebra un gol del Barça en el Wanda Metropolitano.
REUTERS

Little by little we are starting to get an idea of Ronald Koeman's plans for Barcelona and the new project which will get underway on Monday 31 August. President Josep Maria Bartomeu gave a couple of hints about what to expect in an interview with Barca's media department, in which he stated that Messi, De Jong, Griezmann, Ter Stegen, Dembélé, Lenglet, Semedo and Ansu Fati were not up for sale and the club would not be willing to listen to offers for them.

However, Bartomeu forgot to mention one player who seems assured a place in Koeman's project. Spanish radio Cadena SER reports that Gerard Piqué does not figure on the coach's black list - quite the opposite, the centre-back is considered to be a key piece in the blaugrana defence and the idea of him not continuing is not in question.

Piqué admits things need to change

It's important to remember that Piqué himself recognised that he too may have to move on in a pitch-side interview after the defeat to Bayern in Lisbon. He freely admitted that if need be he would willing to step aside for in order for the club to sign new players to strengthen the team.

But Koeman is counting on Piqué. That isn't the case with three other senior members of the squad - players who do not feature in the coach's plans for the new campaign. The coach feels it's time for Luis Suárez, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba to be moved on and he plans to sit down and inform them of his decision in the next few days.

The situation is far from clear-cut though - all three players have made it clear that they have no intention of leaving and all remain under contract at the club; in Jordi Alba's case, his contract, which he extended last year, runs until June 2024...