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Pique says unhappy Barcelona players are free to leave

Photo: Manu Fernandez/AP

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique, right, says that "the exit door is always open" for the club's unhappy players.

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) - Barcelona defender Gerard Pique suggests unhappy players should look to leave the club as it battles through its first slump of the season.

Wednesday's comments came days after Cristian Tello and Marc Montoya said they could look to leave at season's end if their minutes did not improve.

Pique says ''I understand Tello and Montoya, but this is Barca and we all fight for our starting place. The exit door is always open if you aren't happy.''

Barcelona has lost two straight games, including for the first time in the Spanish league, heading into Saturday's Copa del Rey match at third-tier Cartagena.

Pique says the team is upbeat and ''looking ahead'' despite the 1-0 loss at Athletic Bilbao: ''We're playing better with each game, so we should feel confident.''

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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