Sergio Busquets has now made the decision to depart FC Barcelona when his contract expires at the end of this season, according to a report in Spain.

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What's going on with Busquets at Barcelona?

There were months of speculation over the future of the legendary midfielder, with manager Xavi keen on keeping him as well as links with Inter Miami.

It was previously unclear whether the 34-year-old would choose to stay for one more season or depart the club at the end of the season, but he has now confirmed his intention to depart the club.

Busquets has made 719 appearances for the Blaugrana since his debut in 2008, and will go down as one of the greatest players in the history of the club.

A report in Marca revealed his decision, which will mean he does not extend his £630k-per-week contract at the club.

There is now speculation that he could move to Al-Hilal, in what could even be an attempt to lure Lionel Messi to Saudi Arabia, as the Argentinian looks for a new club this summer.

The report highlighted how Xavi wanted Busquets to continue for another season, with the veteran midfielder still a highly useful asset for the club, who are set to win La Liga for the first time since 2019.

Busquets will have had to take a paycut in order to stay at the club, with Barcelona still struggling financially, and this did Xavi no favours when trying to convince his former teammate to remain in his midfield.

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How should Barcelona move on from Busquets?

Given the financial troubles the club are facing, with a need to comply with FFP regulations by reducing their wage bill, the departure of Busquets could actually benefit Barcelona given that they will no longer pay his high salary.

However, on the pitch, he has still proven to be an important figure in the midfield alongside Pedri and Gavi, and if they are not able to sign a replacement, an internal solution will have to be found.

Real Sociedad's Martin Zubimendi has been previously linked, but it remains to be seen whether a deal can be done.

One option would be to play Frenkie De Jong at the base of midfield, and the Dutchman could help replace Busquets given his strong passing ability.

De Jong ranks highly for progressive passes and carries as per FBref, but his weaknesses in defending, as well as Busquets' physical superiority, means that there could be some drop-off once Busquets departs.

Xavi described Busquets as "really important" earlier this season, and there may be worries about how Barcelona will cope with the departure of their captain.