Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez has stressed that he spoke earlier in the summer with Gerard Pique about his role in the team this season.
The experienced centre-back hasn’t played a single minute in LaLiga Santander so far, as Xavi does not consider his former teammate as an undisputed starter.
“I spoke to Gerard before we went on holidays,” Xavi said.
“I was clear. I told him that we would strengthen [the defence] and that it wouldn’t be easy for him. He can help us in another type of role.
“There is competition for everyone. I try to choose the best to win games. It depends on his feelings and mine and on how he competes when he gets his chances.”
After registering Jules Kounde on Saturday, Xavi reiterated Barcelona‘s intention to further strengthen their defence with the signing of a right-back.
“The left-back position is well covered, with Alejandro Balde and Jordi Alba,” Xavi added.
“We are looking at the market. On the right, we don’t have a natural [right-back], with the exception of [Sergino] Dest, who already knows my position.
“There are Sergi [Roberto], Ronald [Araujo], Jules [Kounde].
“We’ll look at the market, but the intention is to strengthen the right-back position.”
Asked about Barcelona‘s interest in Manchester City‘s Bernardo Silva, Xavi made clear that the club will not be able to sign him if they don’t offload players.
“You never lose hope, but it’s difficult,” Xavi noted.
“It is complicated. We are only a few days away. There must be departures.”
Xavi went on to praise Real Valladolid coach Pacheta ahead of the duel between the two teams at the Camp Nou on Sunday.
“We are fans of Pacheta,” Xavi declared.
“He has surprised me as a coach. He is brave, offensive, methodical. He is a noble person.
“It will be difficult. Real Valladolid are a daring, cheerful team, with players at a good level.
“We are facing a team that does things well. The objective is the three points.”