Barcelona have announced long-term contract extensions for Gerard Pique, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Frenkie de Jong and Clément Lenglet.
The Catalan giants had only just polished off Ferencvarosi in the Champions League – winning 5-1 at Camp Nou – before taking to their official website to announce that the quartet have agreed to prolong their stay at the club.
First on the agenda is veteran defender Gerard Pique, who despite being 33 years of age, has signed a contract running until 2024. The former Manchester United defender, now with 102 Spain caps under his belt, has played a whopping 548 times for Barcelona to date, and is almost certain to now end his career at the club.
By then, he’ll have racked up 17 seasons at Barcelona, though his association with the club dates back to 1997 – when he first joined the club’s academy. Pique did briefly leave Catalonia, joining Manchester United in 2004, but returned four years later at the end of his Old Trafford contract.
Ter-Stegen, meanwhile, has been in talks with Barcelona over a new deal for quite some time, and the German goalkeeper has inked an extension to his current contract that runs until 2025. His new terms contains a buyout clause of €500m – one of those token figures that isn’t likely to be triggered, well, ever.
As for De Jong and Lenglet, they’ve both penned extensions that commit them to the club for another six years – 2026, for simplicity – even though both players have been at Barcelona for a relatively short period of time.
Barça’s statement noted that the agreements ‘have been reached following weeks of negotiations’ and do contain a ‘temporary salary adjustment due to the current circumstances brought about the Covid-19 induced crisis.’
The reigning La Liga champions are known to be in financial dire straits, owing to a substantial loss of revenue caused by the global coronavirus pandemic. New head coach Ronald Koeman has been forced to accept that players must be sold in order to fund bringing in new recruits – a policy that ultimately cost Barcelona the opportunity to sign Memphis Depay from Lyon at the end of the summer transfer window.
They did, however, persuade Lionel Messi to stay, after he threatened to walk out of the club in the aftermath of the humiliating 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in last season’s Champions League.