Barcelona superstar offered to play 2022-23 season for free amid financial crisis: Reports

Gerard Pique lends a helping hand to former teammate and current Barca manager, Xavi Hernandez.
Gerard Pique lends a helping hand to former teammate and current Barca manager, Xavi Hernandez.

Gerard Pique has reportedly offered to play for Barcelona for free this season amidst the club's struggles to register their new signings.

According to Spanish outlet AS, Pique sat down for a dinner with club president Joan Laporta and offered the club to modify his contract as per their wishes. He signed his last contract at Barcelona in 2020, which runs until the summer of 2024.

Pique even stated that he could play for nothing in return this season in order to help the club register their new signings. The Blaugrana have signed Jules Kounde, Robert Lewandowski, Franck Kessie, Raphinha, and Andreas Christensen this summer.

However, La Liga rejected their desire to register them for the 2022/23 campaign. Barca responded by activating several economic levers, which entails selling parts of their assets in exchange for cash.

As a result, they will reportedly be able to register all their new acquisitions. Pique has also seen a major reduction in his wages, and a fourth economic lever being activated could put the club in a stable financial position for now.

There is also an acceptance on Pique's part that he is the club's fifth-choice centre-back this season. Apart from the new arrivals in their defense, the club also have Ronald Araujo, Samuel Umtiti, and Eric Garcia in their ranks.

Pique played in 40 games across all competitions last season for the Catalan giants. However, the 35-year-old is expected to dramatically slip down the pecking order after the summer arrivals of Kounde and Christensen.

Barcelona ready to take three players to court for illegal contracts

According to Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona are threatening to take three of their players to court over what they believe was an illegal contract extension in January 2020.

Frenkie de Jong, Clement Lenglet, and Marc ter Stegen are the three players in question. The Netherlands international is adamant that he wants to fulfill his contract at Barcelona that runs until the summer of 2026.

The club, however, believe that the trio's contract extensions had elements of criminality within them. The deals were signed under Barca's previous board and was approved by the club's lawyers and La Liga itself.

They agreed to forego a chunk of their wages on an immediate basis, which was expected to be paid off in the latter stages of their contract. It remains to be seen what will happen with the future of the players in question.

De Jong has an offer on the table from Manchester United while Ter Stegen is the club's first-choice goalkeeper. Lenglet, meanwhile, joined Tottenham Hotspur on a season-long deal this summer.

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Edited by Sankalp Srivastava