In recent weeks, Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen has been heavily linked with a move away from the Camp Nou, with the player himself driving rumours with a series of comments while on international duty suggesting he remains unhappy with his current situation.
Liverpool has been mooted as a potential landing spot given the presence of Jürgen Klopp and the club’s past interest in ter Stegen. Manchester City, with Pep Guardiola set to arrive this summer, have also been linked with a move for him—and by some reports are currently leading the chase.
Not so fast, though, says current teammate Gerard Pique, who insists that while it’s natural for a player to want more minutes, it’s also quite natural for a player to want to stay at a club like Barcelona once he’s made it there. To fight for a place as a starter rather than just giving up and leaving.
"Since you’re asking me, ter Stegen isn’t going anywhere," Pique told Mundo Deportivo this week when he was asked about the club’s goalkeeping situation ahead of Barcelona’s Champions League quarter-final against league rivals Atletico Madrid—which ter Stegen will be expected to play.
"We are Barca. To be at this club is the greatest happiness a player could have. This club, this city, this fanbase. We have it all. I’m convinced everyone will stay. Neymar will also not leave Barcelona. I know him and know that he will not leave. Period."
Yet despite Pique’s protestations, all the signs do point to ter Stegen being set on leaving in the summer. Barcelona may be the best club in the world today, and that may attract stars, but when there aren’t enough minutes to go around for all of them it also inevitably leads to departures.
Ter Stegen was reportedly unhappy after his first season at the club, having arrived expecting to be made their number one only to have Chilean Claudio Bravo arrive after he did. The result was that ter Stegen became the club goalkeeper while Bravo was handed league duties.
After a second season with the same set-up, and with no sign Barcelona are ready to move on from Bravo in favour of him come next year, ter Stegen has made numerous comments suggesting he is ready to move on for the sake of more regular playing time and the future of his his international career.