Report: Barcelona star offered new contract amid alleged Manchester United interest

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Sergio Busquets has reportedly confirmed a preliminary agreement for a new Barcelona contract.

Sergio Busquets has spent his entire career with Barcelona, progressing through La Masia before making his first-team debut in 2008.

His rapid rise to prominence saw him a central figure in Pep Guardiola’s tiki-taka evolution at Camp Nou, often being utilised as a shielding defensive midfielder who recycled possession to his more creative teammates.

Due to his specific role in that system, Busquets quickly worked his way into the Spanish international fold and has gone on to win over 70 caps, including being part of the successes at the 2010 World Cup and 2012 European Championship.

However, his specific role has seen his ability diminish in the move away from tiki-taka in the last few years to a more high-pressing, energetic game. Whilst he is still undoubtedly a top quality player, his usefulness to Barca has been brought into question, and he has been linked with an exit from Camp Nou.

The Mirror reported on interest from Manchester United in December, claiming that head coach Louis van Gaal saw a role for Busquets in his team, and was preparing to make an offer for him in the summer.

His current contract runs until 2018, as per Transfermrkt, and a deal could have been struck for a negligible fee due to the expiration date, but it now looks as if Barca intend to keep Busquets on a long-term deal - and have offered him a new contact.

As reported by Marca, the La Liga giants have agreed a preliminary deal with Busquets to extend his contract to 2019, with the option of a further year, which will make him one of the highest paid players in the squad.

This new contract looks to have scuppered any plans United had of securing Busquets in the summer, and they may be forced to follow up interest in one of their other targets - with Nigel de Jong and Kevin Strootman two heavily linked names, as per the Mirror.

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