A huge blow to Barcelona’s chances of advancing in the Europe League is a boost to Manchester United’s, with the Catalan club’s legendary midfield figure Sergio Busquets reportedly a doubt for at least one of the two games between the two sides.
Busquets remains an integral part of the Barcelona setup, despite many of his team-mates from the golden era of the club moving on.
The Spain international is still the heartbeat of the Spotify Camp Nou club but he could be forced to watch the first leg of the Europa League play-off tie between Barcelona and United from the sidelines.
Busquets hobbled off the pitch in their 3-0 win over Sevilla over the weekend and now, Barcelona have issued an official statement on the 34-year-old’s condition.
“Tests on Monday morning have revealed that first team captain Sergio Busquets has sprained the external lateral ligament of his left ankle. He will be unavailable for selection until he recovers,” a statement read on Barcelona’s official website.
“Following a clash with En-Nesyri in the 7th minute of the game with Sevilla on Sunday at Spotify Camp Nou, the midfielder had to make an early exit from the proceedings.
“Sergio has featured in all but two of Barça’s 20 league games so far this season, as well nine games in other competitions.”
Earlier on Monday, Spanish journalist Javi Miguel added to speculation that Busquets could be absent from the first leg at the Spotify Camp Nou, claiming he will miss at least 15 days.
As per the report, it’s ‘very difficult’ to envisage Busquets being involved in the first game without causing the injury to flare up. The issue is now being monitored.
The news of Busquets’ injury comes just days after another Barcelona regular, Ousmane Dembele, had been named as a doubt for the tie.
Erik ten Hag’s men will make the trip to Spain on February 16 before welcoming the La Liga giants to the Theatre of Dreams one week later for the deciding game. The winner will secure their passage into the next round of the Europa League.