Barcelona 'set to appoint four new club captains including Robert Lewandowski and Pedri'
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Barcelona are planning to appoint an entirely new captaincy group in 2023, according to reports in Spain.
Veteran midfielder Sergio Busquets, 34, currently holds the armband after being appointed first-team captain at the start of last season, with defender Gerard Pique, 35, promoted to vice-captain at the same time.
Sergi Roberto, 30, was named third captain, with Jordi Alba, 33, joining the leadership group as the fourth-choice skipper.
According to Spanish journalist Javi Miguel, Barcelona expect all four players to leave the club in 2023.
It is claimed that the Catalan giants have already identified their potential replacements.
Barcelona are set to appoint recent signing Robert Lewandowski, 34, as one of four new captains, according to the report.
Pedri will also join the captaincy group, despite being aged just 19, while goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, 30, and defender Ronald Araujo, 23, are set to complete the quartet.
Miguel also claims winger Ousmane Dembele, 25, is also being considered as "an option" - despite his recent contract stand-off with the club.
🚨🚨| FC Barcelona expect all four captains to leave in 2023 & they will be replaced by Ter Stegen, Lewandowski, Pedri & Araujo, with Dembélé being an option as well.@fansjavimiguel [🥇]— Managing Barça (@ManagingBarca) September 19, 2022
Busquets, Pique and Alba were all unused substitutes in Saturday's 3-0 win over Elche, while Roberto was not part of the matchday squad.
Busquets, who replaced Lionel Messi as captain following the Argentine's move to PSG, is out of contract at the end of the season, as is Roberto.
Pique is under contract until the summer of 2024 but cash-strapped Barcelona are reportedly hoping the veteran defender will choose to retire this summer, rather than see out the remainder of his deal at the Nou Camp.
Alba, meanwhile, is also contracted to Barcelona until 2024 but may be sold next summer to free up funds.
The news of Barcelona's potential captaincy changes have sparked debate on social media, with fans of rivals Real Madrid quick to ridicule the Catalan club.
"Lewandowski & Pedri? Imagine a new guy and a kid being captain," posted one Madrid fan on Twitter.
lewandowski & pedri ? imagine a new guy and a kid being captain 😭😭👋— . (@15ucl) September 19, 2022
I would like dembele as a captain— Hev (@NotHevarr) September 19, 2022
Lewandowski and Pedri?😭😭😭😭😭 nahh this club is dusted— Kylian Hazard (@Dr___kez) September 19, 2022
Another added: "Lewandowski and Pedri? Nahh this club is dusted."
Who should Barcelona appoint as captain if the current leadership group leaves in 2023? Let us know your thoughts.
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Topics: Barcelona, Football, La Liga, Robert Lewandowski, Pedri, Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba