Pique’s £44m retirement ‘gesture’ boosts Barca transfer plans

Gerard Pique

Gerard Pique has reportedly foregone wages worth £44m in an effort to help cash-stricken Barcelona.

Spanish outlet Marca claim Pique’s surprise retirement will free up funds for the Catalan side to spend more in the transfer window.

Barcelona head coach Xavi, a former team-mate of Pique, was full of praise for the defender whose final game will be against Almeria on Saturday.

“Pique is a player who still has a contract and who could have continued at the club, so his gesture shows spectacular greatness,” said Xavi.

“We had a private conversation at the beginning of the summer. I had to explain my intentions to him and it was one of the most difficult moments I’ve had to do as a coach.

“We heard about Pique’s decision this week. Surely I have had an important weight in making this decision, but the truth is that I have to make decisions and in many situations someone else played over Pique.

“For me it is not a relief that he is leaving now. It is a personal decision for him, due to the circumstances and due to the conversation we had in the summer.

“I’ve tried to be honest with Piqué… the footballer always feels when you don’t play him, the coach is to be blamed.

“That’s why I say that sometimes the job of a coach is unpleasant because you have to make difficult decisions. The conversation we had is private.”