Barcelona are set to announce the termination of 31-year-old striker Martin Braithwaite’s contract after reaching an agreement with the Denmark international.
Braithwaite has been told by Xavi to leave the Catalan giants but has yet to find a new club. The Dane is contracted to Barca until 2024 but the club want him off the wage bill as soon as possible.
Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano reports the decision to terminate Braithwaite’s contract has already been made and the striker is ready to pick his new team.
Braithwaite has been at Barcelona since joining on an emergency transfer in 2020 from Leganes. The Catalans paid his €18 million release clause and were allowed to sign outside of the transfer window after a long-term injury to Ousmane Dembele.
The striker has gone on to make 58 appearances for Barca, scoring 10 goals, but has never been a regular in the team. The arrival of Robert Lewandowski has pushed Braithwaite further down the pecking order at the Camp Nou.
Xavi has appeared frustrated that Braithwaite has not managed to find a way out of Barcelona. He told a news conference ahead of Barca’s win against Real Valladolid that he informed Braithwaite back in May that he was surplus to requirements.
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Where Next For Braithwaite?
It’s not clear yet where Braithwaite will play his football this season, but the Dane will want to be playing regularly in order to keep his place in the national team for the World Cup in Qatar.
One possible option is a move to Barcelona’s local rivals Espanyol. The club could make a late move for Braithwaite if striker Raul de Tomas leaves, according to Mundo Deportivo.
Such a transfer would appeal to Braithwaite as he would not have to relocate his family and could continue to live in Barcelona. However, Espanyol may struggle to match his salary demands.
Greek side AEK Athens have also enquired about Braithwaite in the final days of the transfer window. Yet it remains to be seen if Matías Almeyda’s side would be able to afford a deal for the Dane either.
Will Aubameyang Move Too?
Braithwaite may not be the only striker leaving Barcelona before deadline day. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s future remains uncertain amid speculation he could leave for Chelsea.
The striker has also been the victim of an armed attack at his home and has confirmed he suffered a jaw injury during the incident. It’s been reported by The Athletic that Aubameyang is likely to be out for several weeks because of the injury.
Chelsea have made Barcelona an offer for Aubameyang that also includes left-back Marcos Alonso, according to Romano. Alonso has been a target for Xavi’s side but Barca are yet to agree to Chelsea’s bid.
Xavi has said recently he wants to keep Aubameyang at the club and considers him an important player. Yet Barca’s continued financial issues means the club may be forced to sell if a good offers arrives for the 33-year-old who arrived on a free in January.