Sergio Busquets announced he will be leaving Barcelona on Wednesday after 15 seasons at the club.
He is now expected to join Al Hilal in Saudi Arabia, fueling speculation that Lionel Messi will head the same way this summer.
Busquets, whose contract runs out at the end of the season, had been offered a new deal by Barcelona but signing it would have meant taking a 70 per cent pay cut.
He delayed making a decision because in recent weeks Barcelona have been working to convince La Liga they can afford to re-sign Messi.
Busquets and Messi have an unwritten pact that they will play one more season together before they retire.