SPECIAL REPORT: The 27-year-old has been left out of the Blaugrana’s last three games by Luis Enrique and will seek a move in January unless his situation improves
By Ben Hayward | Spanish Football Writer
Gerard Pique is considering his future at Camp Nou after being left out of Barcelona’s last three matches.
Goal understands the defender is unhappy at his recent reduced role, believing he is being unfairly treated by coach Luis Enrique, and will request a transfer unless his situation improves in the next few weeks.
Pique has not featured for Barca since playing the first half of the Supercopa de Catalunya clash against Espanyol, which Luis Enrique’s side won on penalties in Girona on October 30.
The defender scored in that match, but was substituted at half-time and was later captured by television cameras looking at his mobile phone on the bench – something strictly forbidden by Barca.
The former Manchester United player was then left out altogether as Barca lost at home to Celta Vigo in their next match, watching from the stands alongside former central defensive partner Carles Puyol. He was back on the bench in the 2-0 win at Ajax in the Champions League in the club’s next fixture and an unused substitute again in the weekend win at Almeria.
“Pique is doing everything he can to be a starter,” Luis Enrique said before the game against Almeria. However, the Asturian coach has now told journalists he will not speak any more about the defender’s situation.
The player himself believes he has done little wrong, but he has played just 675 minutes this season (the 12th-highest in the squad) and was overheard telling team-mate Dani Alves in training this week: “You and I have a lot of enemies here.”
Pique also courted controversy in pre-season when he let off a stink bomb aboard an aircraft en route to Helsinki and upset journalists with another one in the mixed zone after Barca’s game with HJK.
The 27-year-old was then ticked off by the club for his public spat with the police in Barcelona after he was fined for leaving his car in a bus lane.
Pique had his problems with former Barca boss Pep Guardiola and spent much of the 2011-12 season on the bench after a number of run-ins with the ex-Spain midfielder.
Guardiola was back in Barcelona to vote in the poll on Catalan independence on Sunday and the Bayern Munich coach was photographed in a surprise meeting with Pique on the street.
According to the player’s representatives, the two men met by chance after Pique had left the cinema close to where both have houses, in the upper region of Barcelona. Barca, however, are thought to be unhappy about the rendezvous.
Pique links up with Spain today ahead of the games against Belarus and Germany, with Barca in action again later this month versus Sevilla, APOEL and Valencia before a derby clash against Espanyol in early December and the visit of Paris Saint-Germain days later.
The defender will hope to regain his place in the line-up for those games but will push for a transfer in January if he continues to be ignored by Luis Enrique.