- Busquets set to leave Barcelona
- Picks Rodri, Zubimendi & Nico to be his ideal replacements
- Thinks these three are close to the Barca DNA
WHAT HAPPENED? After a trophy-laden 15-year stay at Camp Nou, Busquets has confirmed he will leave Barcelona this summer despite Xavi's efforts to convince him to continue for one more season. It is not easy to replace such a vital cog in the system and Barcelona are already looking for options in the market which would come close to his profile. The midfielder himself has revealed his preferences for the role, with Manchester City's Rodri topping the list along with Real Sociedad's Martin Zubimendi.
WHAT THEY SAID: "I know there's a lot of talk about players, about Rodri, about Zubimendi. They are very good players and perhaps the ones that most match the DNA and the style that is wanted here but they are in another team, they belong to another club," Busquets said in an interview with Mundo Deportivo.
"I have met less with Zubimendi but I have seen him with the Under-21s and because we have faced each other in the League and in the Cup. I think those are the closest to Barca's DNA, the ones that could contribute the most. Then if you want to sign others with a much more physical profile, or a little more defensive, you can also and there are players who can adapt with their own qualities."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Barcelona had reportedly also set their sights on Joshua Kimmich, with the Bayern Munich midfielder keen on a new challenge. However, Busquets is not too eager to see the German midfielder in Barcelona colours and has instead backed Nico Gonzalez, who is on loan at Valencia, to be a more viable option both financially and in terms of understanding the club's ethos and style.
"It's a little different, it's German football. In the end, you don't just have to look for the same DNA. We also have players at home," he added. "We have Nico, who is on loan, and I think he is doing very well, although it is true that he has lacked a bit of continuity but he is very talented, has many conditions and we must give the opportunity to the people of the house, young people, and that financially you know that you will not spend the price of a transfer that today I do not know if we are qualified. They are also players who understand the club and the style of play."
IN THREE PHOTOS:Getty ImagesGetty Images
WHAT NEXT? Barcelona's task of finding a suitable replacement for Busquets has been complicated due to the financial constraints that the club is going through. While Kimmich is reported to be valued at €45m, Rodri is expected to cost even more as the midfielder is a key figure in Pep Guardiola's City squad and has a contract until 2027 at the Etihad Stadium.