Three offers on the table as Sergio Busquets' Barcelona renewal dangles
Manchester City, PSG and Manchester United are waiting to see what happens with the player, who is in turn waiting for a bigger contract offer from Barcelona, on the promise of the president
Three offers on the table, three clubs waiting for the green light to travel to Barcelona and sit in front of Josep Maria Bartomeu and negotiate the exit of Sergio Busquets, three coaches who prefer him to Paul Pogba, three sides willing to pay more than 100 million to have the Badia-born star in their ranks. A player that has not scored a goal this season, that only has 12 in the last eight years in the top flight, that never appears on front covers and is never given man of them atch awards - is still the object of desire for Europe's biggest sides.
Manchester City, PSG and Manchester United are waiting to see what happens with the player, who is in turn waiting for a bigger contract offer from Barcelona. It's something that should happen at the end of the season, but the wait is starting to worry him. Busquets is not comfortable and the three huge sides are alert. His release clause is 150m euros.
PSG have gone many weeks aking after him, wanting a replacement for Thiago Motta. Busquets' signature would be taken like a new key piece for their sporting project, as they target the Champions League. But Busquets is unsure about heading to the uncompetitive French league.
Manchester United want him, but their chances will be reduced if Jose Mourinho is the coach. It's the opposite at Man City, where Pep Guardiola is going to be the manager from next season. "If anyone could make me leave Barca it's my wife and Guardiola," said Busi.
City, where Yaya Toure is set to leave, are looking for a central midfielder. Busquets' words opened the eyes of Txiki, who immediately got in touch to find out the midfielder's intentions. Guardiola doesn't want to break up Barcelona or create a mess, but it's another thing if the player doesn't reach an agreement with the club, which would open the doors to an exit - like Thiago.
And Busquets is not happy. The promise from the president for a new deal is not concrete and his impatience increases with calls from other clubs. He doesn't know what kind of improvement the president will offer but does know what PSG and the Manchester sides can provide.
In these moments, Barcelona and Busquets have had some initial contact, in some messages from Josep Maria Orobitg, Busquets' manager, to the club executives and president. "Yes, it's true, I will keep the promise but have patience," asked Bartomeu. "I understand everything, the EBITDA (financial rules for the club) and I will wait until the end of the season, but I only want you to know I want a renewal without spectacle," responded Busquets.
Busquets was promised a while back he would join the top paid players (bar Messi and Neymar), but the club have not been constantly in touch. Barcelona haven't lost their nerve and are convinced he will end up renewing - because the president will keep his word, because the player will want to stay, and he will be offered a contract in line with his performance.
He is key for the team and the club can't imagine a future without him. However, now's not the moment to take it on, with 19 'finals' left to win the treble.