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Plot twist: Barcelona want veteran midfielder to continue next season

Miralem Pjanic’s stint at Barcelona so far has been a largely forgettable one. Signed from Juventus in 2020, the 32-year-old veteran failed to win the faith of then-manager Ronald Koeman and spent the entirety of his debut season on the fringes.

The Bosnian international was then shipped off on loan to Besiktas last summer as he was no longer a part of Koeman’s plans. And even though Xavi Hernandez took over the reins of the club, Pjanic did not seem like he would have a future at Camp Nou after a middling spell in Turkey.

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Indeed, when Pjanic returned for the pre-season camp last month, he was counted among the players who would be sold by Barça. Fast forward one month and there is a major U-turn on his situation as the Blaugrana are looking to keep hold of the veteran midfielder.

That is according to journalist Achraf Ben Ayad, who reports that Barcelona no longer want to part ways with Pjanic and are keen for the former Juventus mainstay to continue at Camp Nou.

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This turnaround of fortunes has been brought about by the former AS Roma man’s displays in the pre-season. Pjanic made an early impression on Xavi and his staff which earned him a spot on the tour of the USA.

And his performance in the friendly against Juventus playing as a pivot midfielder, following which Xavi had lauded him, has seemingly convinced Barcelona to keep him as cover for captain Sergio Busquets.

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Reports indicate that the coaching staff have been left pleasantly surprised by Pjanic’s tactical understanding and believe that someone like him can add value to the team, especially considering the number of young midfielders at Barça’s disposal.

Pjanic had reduced his salary significantly last season prior to his loan move to Besiktas, so his wages should not be an issue for Barcelona either. Furthermore, it has been claimed that the 32-year-old is willing to take further pay cuts to continue playing under Xavi.

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So, as things stand, all signs point towards a prolonged stay at Camp Nou for Pjanic, although it does raise question marks over Nico Gonzalez’s immediate future at Barça.

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