Barcelona’s Sergio Busquets set to miss UEL tie with Man United

Man United may benefit from Barcelona’s misfortune after midfielder Sergio Busquets picked up an injury that could rule him out of their massive Europa League tie.

The veteran star sustained an ankle issue during Barca’s La Liga fixture against Sevilla on Sunday night. Busquets went down with the injury after just eight minutes of the game, with Franck Kessie replacing him.

Kessie went on to assist Barca’s first goal as they swept aside Sevilla 3-0. With this win, the Catalan giants are eight points clear at the top of La Liga.

Spanish media outlet Cadena SER reports that Busquets has suffered an ankle sprain with some ligament damage. Therefore, the Spaniard will likely miss two to three weeks.

Nevertheless, this takes Sergio Busquets out of action for the rest of this month – which includes at least Barca’s first leg against Man United.

The Blaugrana first host the Red Devils at Camp Nou on 16 February, which Busquets will almost definitely miss. Then, with their second leg coming just one week later, it’s unlikely that the 34-year-old will be ready to go.

Additionally, Busquets will miss domestic matches at Villarreal and at home to Cadiz.

The loss of their experienced captain will be a concerning one for the manager, Xavi, as Barcelona reach a crucial round of matches in their season. Similarly, the injury comes at an inopportune time for Busquets amid rumours surrounding his Barcelona future.

Sergio Busquets picks up injury as speculation around Barca exit mounts

Barca’s current longest-serving player is out of contract this summer. However, player and club are yet to agree on any new deal that would see Sergio Busquets extend his stay at Camp Nou.

His former teammate-turned-manager would like the Barca captain to stay one more year, though. Ahead of their match vs Sevilla, Xavi said he would be “delighted” if Busquets stayed at the club.

Similarly, Barca’s director of football – Mateu Alemany – said he would leave the decision to player and coach.

“I’m not going to amend the coach’s plan, of course,” confirmed Alemany, via SPORT. “Busquets knows the consideration and appreciation he has at home. Obviously, he’s an institution here; for the club, for us, and for the members of Barca.

“His contract ends, but that is a circumstance that he will assess because the important thing is also his future project.

“I believe that between him and Xavi they will make that decision when they consider it pertinent. If he stays, fantastic – we will support it.”

So, Sergio Busquets’ future at Barcelona rests in his hands. But he may be tempted to a change of scenery; after all, he has won all there is to win whilst in Catalonia.

A move away from Spain for the Barca veteran?

AS reported in January that the midfielder may look to see out his career abroad. A move to Al-Nassr is potentially on the cards as the Saudi side look to bring in reinforcements around Cristiano Ronaldo.

Alternatively, ESPN suggested back in September 2022 that Busquets may cross the Atlantic to the MLS. The outlet claimed that Inter Miami are another possible candidate to secure the Spaniard’s services.

This can wait until the summer, though. For now, Sergio Busquets will be focusing on regaining fitness to try and return for the second leg of the Man United tie. Barca will also be desperate to get their captain back to consolidate their advantage at the top of La Liga.

Featured image credit: Getty