Pique addresses his Barcelona future and Coutinho links

The Spain international insists he has no intention of moving and says ‘great players’ are always welcome amid talk of interest in Liverpool’s forward

Gerard Pique insists he has never considered leaving Barcelona and intends to see out the remainder of his playing days at Camp Nou.

The World Cup-winning defender is a product of Barca’s famed La Masia academy system, but left his homeland for Manchester United in 2004.

He was brought back to Catalonia after four years in England and has gone on to become one of the finest centre-halves in world football.

RUMOURS: Pique could leave Barcelona

Pique has won just about every major honour with club and country, while taking his tally of club appearances to over 420.

He has, however, seen his future at Barcelona called into question of late, with speculation suggesting the 29-year-old’s pop star wife, Shakira, is eager to make a fresh start somewhere else.

HD Philippe Coutinho Liverpool

Pique, though, has sought to quash the rumours before they escalate, with there no desire on his part to leave Barca until the time comes to hang up his boots.

Asked during a Facebook Q&A session whether he has given any thought to a move, he said: “To be honest, no I haven’t. I’m happy here, this is my lifelong club and I hope to end my playing career here”.

While Pique has ruled out an imminent exit, he has also been pressed on possible arrivals at Barca.

Messi is like Batman – Sampaoli

Liverpool forward Philippe Coutinho has been heavily linked with a move to the La Liga champions, with the Brazil international considered to be a “great player”.

Pique said: “It’s [Technical Secretary] Robert’s [Fernandez] job to handle those kinds of things but great players are always received here with arms wide open.”

Lionel Messi Barcelona 14012017

A stalwart of Barcelona’s recent successes also faced inevitable questioning on iconic team-mate Lionel Messi.

He said: “Playing with Leo is amazing. And obviously, playing with the rest of my team mates is as well.”

‘Messi will only leave Barca for Newell’s’

And regarding the debate as to who is best – Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo – Pique reiterated that his allegiance lies close to home.

“The question I always get asked – you already know the answer,” he added.

Messi and Barcelona are next in action on Sunday, when they head to Eibar looking to keep pace with the title-chasing frontrunners in the Spanish top-flight.

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