The veteran Barcelona players have not had the best of starts to the season, with none of the four captains Sergio Busquets, Sergi Roberto, Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba remaining ever-present figures in the first team.
Busquets has been the most prominent player in the team so far, with Xavi still considering him the first-choice option in the number six position.
The 34-year-old has featured in five of the eight competitive matches this season. But lately, Xavi has opted to rest the midfielder in light of his age. The player was notably rested in the game against Elche, with Frenkie de Jong operating in the defensive midfield role, in his stead.
It appears Xavi is looking to slowly phase Busquets out of the first team, knowing the midfielder is set to leave the club at the end of the season.
This has been reported by MARCA, who suggest Barcelona have already started their search for replacements.
Busquets’ current deal at Camp Nou expires in 2023. Although Barcelona have attempted to seek talks over newer terms with the midfielder earlier in the summer, there are no indicators the duration of the contract will be extended.
Busquets himself appears to be keen on starting a new chapter in his career, with the veteran even being linked with a move to the United States. There were even reports suggesting a reunion with former Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi, whose contract at PSG also expires next year, at Inter Miami FC.
Nevertheless, the midfielder’s uncertain future at Barcelona is not likely to affect his prospects in the current season. His experience, composure and leadership could indeed go a long way in leading an otherwise inexperienced Barcelona team this season.
As for possible replacements, Chelsea ace Jorginho reportedly offered himself to Barcelona, but the Blaugrana are not considering the Italian as an option.