Madrid: Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has apparently let slip that teammate Cesc Fabregas is leaving the club for 33 million euros (USD 45 million) in a remark overheard by Spanish public television.
Cesc Fabregas and Gerard Pique
Without revealing the attacking midfielder's destination, widely rumoured to be Chelsea, the 27-year-old Pique seemed to inadvertently divulge his friend's price tag to the world at an event in the United States.
Pique put his hand over his mouth but spoke into the live microphone of public television TVE at a promotional event in Washington DC where Spain were training ahead of a friendly against El Salvador on Saturday.
"He's told me it's done," Pique can be heard telling Spain coach Vicente del Bosque moments before the start of a news conference at the event on Wednesday.
"He is going. He told me 33 million," Pique said.
Del Bosque replied that the departure of Fabregas, 27, would be bad news for the president, an apparent reference to Barcelona boss Josep Maria Bartomeu.
"He can't get a break," Del Bosque said. "You're going to make him crazy, poor guy."
It is unclear if Pique and Del Bosque were truly caught in an offhand moment.
Barcelona-based sports daily Mundo Deportivo said the pair's smiles raised suspicions that the remarks were actually a practical joke on the media.
Spain face Chile, the Netherlands and Australia in World Cup Group B. Their first match pits them on June 13 against the Netherlands -- their opponents in their 2010 World Cup final triumph.