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Gerard Pique 'at centre of Barcelona dressing room split after signing new deal'

Pique 'at centre of Barcelona dressing room split'
© Reuters
Barcelona stalwart Gerard Pique is reportedly at the centre of a dressing room split after unexpectedly agreeing to a new four-year contract amid rows over a pay cut.

Barcelona stalwart Gerard Pique has reportedly found himself at the centre of a dressing room split after signing a surprise new contract with the club.

The 33-year-old has put pen to paper on a new four-year deal to keep himself at Camp Nou until 2024, one of a quartet of contract extensions which were unexpectedly announced after Tuesday night's Champions League win over Ferencvaros.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Frenkie de Jong and Clement Lenglet have joined the centre-back in committing their futures to the club, but Marca reports that Pique's agreement has been the most contentious due to an ongoing row between the players and the board.

Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu has asked the first-team squad to take a further 30% pay cut in order to help ease the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, with much of those wages set to be deferred into future years of their contracts.

Most of the dressing room - including Pique - are understood to have signed a letter rejecting that deal, having already accepted one round of pay cuts in March, but Pique has reportedly now reneged on his word and signed a new contract behind their backs.

The former Spain international's actions have reportedly 'infuriated' the rest of the squad, whose relationship with the board has grown increasingly fractious following a string of off-field issues last season.

Pique, who was sent off during the 5-1 triumph over Ferencvaros, is expected to inherit the captain's armband at Barcelona if Lionel Messi leaves the club at the end of this season.

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Gerard Pique in action for Barcelona on March 1, 2020
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