La Liga heavyweights Atletico Madrid are reportedly considering a shock move for Barcelona defender Gerard Pique next summer.

According to a report by Spanish publication SPORT, Gerard Pique is the subject of interest from Atletico Madrid over a shock move in the January transfer window. Recent reports have claimed that the relationship between Xavi Hernandez and the veteran Barcelona defender has soured.

Gerard Pique is one of the best players in Barcelona’s long and storied history, with the Spaniard carving out a lasting legacy for himself at Camp Nou. The 35-year-old returned to Barcelona from Manchester United 14 years ago and has been a mainstay at the back for the Blaugrana for the most part since then.

The veteran Spanish defender has turned out over 600 times for Barcelona, chipping in with 53 goals and 15 assists. But Pique’s stock has fallen considerably since Xavi Hernandez took charge at the Spotify Camp Nou last year. And he is now at the bottom of the pecking order for centre-backs, with his situation capturing the attention of Atletico Madrid.

The interest from Atletico Madrid is surprising, considering Diego Simeone has several central defenders at his disposal at the Wanda Metropolitano. But the Atletico Madrid manager is not satisfied with some of the options in his squad, with his team being very inconsistent in the last twelve months.

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As for the centre-backs, Mario Hermoso has not stamped his authority since joining Atletico Madrid from Espanyol. In addition, Felipe has blown hot and cold during his stint with Atletico Madrid. Simeone thus wants a reliable veteran in his squad, thus turning his attention to Barcelona defender Gerard Pique.

Recent reports have claimed that the relationship between Xavi Hernandez and Pique has deteriorated considerably. In addition, some others have suggested that Pique might depart from the Spotify Camp Nou as a free agent next summer. But Atletico Madrid will look to sign him before next summer, with a January approach on the cards.

The claim does not have much substance on face value, as Pique is a staunch Barcelona loyalist and will unlikely join a direct rival, despite falling down the pecking order. But with his Barcelona future seemingly being bleak, it will be interesting to see if the veteran Spanish defender joins Atletico Madrid. Meanwhile, the Colchoneros also have Marcus Rashford on their radar.

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