Barcelona have offered midfielder Sergio Busquets the chance to spend an extra two years at the club in exchange for a drastically lowered salary.
La Blaugrana are in a dire financial state these days and have been warned by La Liga president Javier Tebas that they must cut costs after going over their salary cap, which is thought to be the only obstacle preventing them from extending Lionel Messi’s contract.
As part of their attempts to cut costs, Barcelona are looking at reducing or restructuring the wages of their current squad. A few players have already agreed to the plans, and Catalunya Radio state that Busquets is next in line.
The 32-year-old still has two years remaining on his current deal, but Barcelona want to replace that with a four-year deal that would slash his salary in half. He would take home less money every week, but by 2025, would have earned as much as he is currently set to earn by 2023.
Barcelona hope that Busquets will accept the proposal as it would give him two extra years at his boyhood club, but they are also willing to offer some extra financial incentives to make this new offer look more appealing.
In the final two years of this new contract, Busquets would have the chance to pick up some sizeable bonuses as well, so he could actually end up earning more from this new deal than he is set to earn from his current one.
Busquets’ feelings towards the whole thing are unclear and he is not expected to think about the proposal until after the European Championships, where he has helped lead Spain to a quarter-final tie against Switzerland on Friday.
Barcelona are optimistic that Busquets will agree. They still see the veteran midfielder as a crucial part of the team and hope that the nature of his game means he will be able to continue playing as he ages.
He managed 50 appearances in all competitions last season, missing just two league games through injury or suspension. Only four outfield players managed more minutes than him – Frenkie de Jong, Jordi Alba, Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann.