Pjanic says Xavi wanted him to stay at Barcelona despite salary issues

FT Desk
FT Desk
  • 15 Oct 2022 18:10 BST
  • 3 min read
Barcelona’s €65m bust: Why it’s gone wrong for Miralem Pjanic
© ProShots

Miralem Pjanic has claimed that Barcelona coach Xavi wanted to keep the midfielder at Camp Nou this summer.

Pjanic, 32, arrived at Barca in 2020 as part of a swap deal that saw Arthur Melo move to Juventus.

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Despite shining in Italy for Roma and the Old Lady, however, the playmaker struggled to make an impact at his new club during a difficult period for the Blaugrana.

His debut season saw him make just 19 appearances in La Liga and he was subsequently sent out on loan to Besiktas for the duration of the 2021-22 term.

The player's sizeable contract then came under the microscope as Barca sought desperately to reduce their salary burden in order to register a host of new signings and fall under La Liga's cap.

Amid fierce speculation over his future in the past window, Pjanic eventually came to an agreement with Barcelona to rescind the final two years of his contract and leave the club.

Now based in the United Arab Emirates with Sharjah, the player insists that it was decision to cut ties with the Catalans.

Why did Pjanic leave Barcelona?

Pjanic hits out at lack of Barcelona playing time
© ProShots

"Xavi wanted me to stay, it was me that decided to leave," he explained to beIN.

"I was there for the first games, the coach spoke with me a lot, but I wanted to play more. I would have liked to have done better at Barca.

"At the beginning, it was good with [Xavi's predecessor as coach Ronald] Koeman. He told me he was happy that I came to the club. But after it did not go as expected.

"With Koeman, I played now and again, but I expected to play more. I was ready for that, but I never reached the starting lineup really."

Read more about: La Liga, Barcelona, Miralem Pjanic

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