With Gerard Pique announcing his retirement from football all of a sudden earlier this month, it had opened up the possibility that Barcelona could look to sign a new centre-half in January to replace the veteran superstar.
The 35-year-old played his last game for the Blaugrana against UD Almeria at Spotify Camp Nou and will now leave a vacant spot in the club’s centre-back department.
Considering the bad luck that Barça have had when it comes to injuries to defenders this season, it would be understandable if the club decided to replenish their options and replace Pique in the winter.
The name of Athletic Club defender Inigo Martinez has been discussed as a potential target as well, given that his contract expires at the end of the season and he has a verbal agreement with Barcelona over a move in the summer.
So, there have been speculations that if the Spanish international would be available for a reasonable price, Barça could swoop in.
However, according to Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona have decided not to sign a new defender to replace Pique in January thanks to the recent form of a certain Marcos Alonso.
The 31-year-old arrived at the club last summer and has grown into a player that manager Xavi Hernandez relies on quite heavily.
Primarily a centre-half, Alonso has been asked to do the job as a left-sided centre-back on several occasions by the Barça manager and he has delivered in the role, especially in recent matches.
Both the coaching staff and the sports management team at Barcelona are said to be satisfied with the level that Alonso has shown and see him as the fifth-choice centre-back now that Pique has hung up his boots.
So, at least until summer, plans to bring in a new central defender are likely to be shelved, even though the Catalans will continue to monitor the market for any opportunities.
Furthermore, Barça even want to renew Alonso’s contract which expires in 2023 by two more years.