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I Rejected Barcelona, Milan & Real Madrid To Stay At Manchester Utd - Nemanja Vidic


Nemanja Vidic has revealed that he turned down offers Barcelona, Milan and Real Madrid in order to stay at manchester.

Nemanja Vidic has become one of the most important players at the club, as evidenced by the fact that he won both the Fans' and Players' Player of the Year Awards last season. Interest in him was inevitable, but Nemanja Vidic has always remained committed toManchester United.

Speaking to The Sun, he said, "I am happy with the team and Manchester and the club’s ambitions for next season.

"“I got offers from Milan, Barcelona and Real Madrid and I played a very honest game — I disclosed all these offers to my boss Sir Alex [Ferguson]. He reacted quickly.

"I was told he was raising my pay to bring it to the level where my reputation is in the Premier League and Europe."

Indeed, after receiving a mega offer from Barcelona, Ferguson decided to raise Vidic's wages from £20,000 a week to £70,000.

Vidic continued, "After Milan and Real Madrid made their offers, Barcelona came in — they wanted to pay £30m for my services but after Sir Alex’s move, I am definitely staying in Manchester until my contract expires in 2012."

Having moved to Old Trafford in 2006, Nemanja Vidic has now racked up 102 appearances for the club.

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Barcelona Chief - We Need A New Striker Even If Eto'o Stays


Barcelona should pursue a new striker this summer even if Eto'o decides to stay for another season because he will be missing for several weeks in the New Year, a club director has stated.

Xavier Sala i Martin believes that Barcelona should not stop chasing David Villa or any of their other targets as the squad needs strengthening up front.

Samuel Eto'o has yet to decide whether he will leave, pen a new deal with Barcelona or see out the remaining year of his current contract and that has led to intense speculation.

If Eto'o accepts Manchester City's offer then Barcelona will move for Villa, but if he turns that chance down then that should not change the club's plans, Sala i Martin thinks.

"Whether or not Eto'o stays we should strengthen the striker position because Samuel, like Keita and Toure, will be going to the African Cup of Nations halfway through the season and we will have to have a goalscorer for those weeks," Sport quote him as saying.

Barcelona have offered Samuel Eto'o a new two year extension on the same salary and Sala i Martin has revealed that he would be delighted if the goalscorer put pen to paper.

"If he does sign a new deal then we will be happy," he added.

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Gudjohnsen Will Leave Barcelona


Eidur Gudjohnsen's father and agent believes that his son will leave Barcelona this summer, but does not think that a move to England will be definite.

The former Chelsea star's dad, Arnor, has revealed that, although his son's days at the Camp Nou are over, he may remain on the continent rather than take up one of the offers from the Premier League.

Three English clubs have made their intentions known and Gudjohnsen must now consider all the options that he has before deciding where next to ply his trade.

"I think that Eidur will leave Barcelona, but I am not sure where he will end up playing next," Arnor is quoted as saying by Sport.

"There are many possibilities open to him, and apart from Aston Villa, Fulham and Everton, there are also clubs in other European countries that want him."

Tuesday's Manchester Evening News, reports that former club Bolton Wanderers are considering a move for the Icelandic star.

The 30 year old has expressed an interest in joining former Chelsea team mate Gianfranco Zola at West Ham, but nothing official has come from the east London outfit.

Leaving Barcelona will be a wrench as Gudjohnsen and his family are settled in Catalunya and his two boys are with the Blaugrana's youth academy.

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Andrey Arshavin: I’d Love To Join Barcelona


The latest quotes attributed to Arsenal's Andrey Arshavin will not make happy reading for fans of the north London based outfit.

The 28 year old is reported as stating that he would be delighted if the opportunity to join Primera Division giants Barcelona was to come along.

"If I have the chance to play for Barcelona, I'd be really happy," British tabloid The Sun quotes Arshavin as saying.

The versatile 5ft 8in forward, who can play on the wing as well as in a central role up front, only moved to the Emirates Stadium from Zenit St. Petersburg at the beginning of February this year for a fee of €17.7 million (£15m).

The 44-time capped Russia international, who has scored 15 goals for the Sbornaja, has impressed for the Gunners so far, finding the back of the net six times in 15 appearances.

Arshavin also recently stated his intention to return to the Sine-Byelo-Goluboy to see out the end of his playing career.

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Barca Hours Away From Closing Keirrison Deal


Barcelona are reportedly on the verge of signing Brazilian wunderkind Keirrison from Palmeiras, who confirmed four days ago that they had received an official offer from Barcelona juggernauts.

According to Sport, Barcelona have been quietly engaged in discussions over the past few days and are now only a matter of hours and few minor details away from completing the transfer. The paper is even confident that, barring any surprises, the 20-year-old will be a Barcelona player by the end of the day.

It is believed that the transfer fee will be set at around €15 million, an amount that is allegedly stipulated in his contract with Traffic Sports Marketing, the agency that owns 80 per cent of his rights.

If the deal is completed, Barcelona could initiate a fresh assault for David Villa as they look to include 'K9' in a part player-swap with Valencia.

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Barca Offer Eto’o Two Year Contract Extension


Barcelona have made a swift response to a recent turn of events regarding their star striker, Samuel Eto’o.

Reports had emerged from England early yesterday morning indicating that Manchester City were preparing an official €30 million offer for Eto'o.

Immediately after rumours surfaced that the deal had been completed, however, the player’s agent, Josep Maria Mesalles, came out and revealed that the 28 year old was eager to see out the remainder of his one year contract at Barcelona.

Now, Barcelona board have reacted and, according to Cadena SER programme ‘El Larguero’, are set to offer the hot-shot a two-year contract extension but without any amendments to his pay package.

Mesalles, however, is reportedly unhappy with the way Barcelona have made their proposal and he wants the club to make a formal offer on Tuesday (today). The agent has also announced that he will hold a press conference of his own at 11:00 CET the same day to reveal Samuel Eto’o’s final decision about his future.

At this point, it is believed that Barca are trying to force Samuel Eto’o out in order to cash in on him to bring in reinforcements, while the player, who is unhappy at the way he is being treated, wants to see out his contract so that he can disrupt the club’s transfer plans by leaving on a free next summer.

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David Villa's Page Hacked By Alleged Barcelona Fan


An alleged Barca fan hacked Valencia star David Villa's personal page this afternoon.

The hacker, who called himself Nemesis, claimed to be a supporter of the Spanish champions and questioned Villa about the reason he has not signed for Barcelona already.

"For the love of God Villa, what is a player of your class waiting for to come to the best team in the world?" the hacker wrote on the player's official page.

"We are waiting for you ace :) I am a simple supporter of F.C. Barcelona, fan of Villa."

On the hacked page, you could also see Linux's official mascot, Tux, dressed in a Barcelona shirt.

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Andres Iniesta: Barcelona Do Not Envy Real Madrid


As Real Madrid continue to rack up the big-name signings, Barcelona maestro Andres Iniesta appears unconcerned at a possible resurgence from their bitter rivals next season.

El Anti-Galactico was instrumental in the Blaugrana’s treble triumph in the 2009 campaign, and is gunning for further success under the stewardship of Pep Guardiola.

Iniesta appeared on Catalan television to discuss the impact Madrid’s new additions may have on Barcelona’s title tilt, and the 25-year old stated that he is only concerned with the approach that he and his team-mates will undertake in order to defend their honours.

“€94m [For Cristiano Ronaldo] is a lot of money and we will see if it works,” He said.

“The most important thing is that we have nothing to envy from Real Madrid. We just have to make sure that we look at ourselves.”

Iniesta is still on holiday following the end of the season after suffering the leg injury that kept him out of Spain’s entire Confederations Cup campaign, and admitted he was disappointed to watch helplessly as La Furia Roja could only clinch 3rd place after being eliminated by the USA.

He added, “It is unfortunate that my colleagues failed to reach the final.”
Finally, he reminisced about his stunning equaliser at Stamford Bridge that sent Barcelona into the Champions League final at the expense of Chelsea.

“That goal was a thing of destiny.” He said. “I was lucky to be there to make that goal, it was the happiest moment of my life.”

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Daniel Alves Is The Best Right Back In The World - Joan Laporta


Catalan giants Barcelona stamped their authority on the world of fooball last season, adding the Champions League title to the Primera Division and the Copa del Rey trophies.

Barcelona's impressive treble-winning campaign came less than a year after president Joan Laporta was voted against by 60% of the club's associates in a motion of censure.

Laporta, who turns 47 today, has now spoken of his pride in the results achieved, but stressed there are three competitions he wants to win in the near future.

"It is undeniable that we have made history with the triplet and we will always be a reference in the history of the club," he told ICAT FM.

"I hope we will still win more; we have two Supercups and the FIFA Club World Cup [to aim for]."

Laporta has also commented on the players that arrived at the club last season, saying, "[Dani] Alves is the best in the world in his position; he is key because he is everywhere and he makes us play with 12, while [Gerard] Pique is incredible, a true leader in the dressing room."

Quizzed on the club's departures, Laporta noted: "We will see what will happen with [Jose Martin] Caceres, [Aliaksandr] Hleb and [Eidur] Gudjohnsen because there are plenty of teams that want them."

He also spoke of injured Gabriel Milito, who "has recovered a lot and says he is no longer in pain".

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Barcelona Still Want Javier Mascherano From Liverpool - Laporta


Joan Laporta has revealed that Barca have not given up on signing Mascherano from Liverpool and hinted that he hopes Messi could persuade the player to move.

Barcelona president explained that despite the Argentinian not having generated further speculative headlines in recent days, the Catalan club's interest in him has not waned.

Toure Yaya has penned a new deal and with so many central players to choose from, the interest in Javier Mascherano was thought to have gone.

But Joan Laporta has ensured that the pressure remains on Liverpool by stating that the former West Ham United misfit is a player of whom he is is a big fan.

"Javier Mascherano is a close friend of Leo Messi. We will see what happens. He's a player I like very much," he told icat FM.

Messi has already stated that he hopes his compatriot could join him at Barca, but with Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez insisting he is not for sale it could be difficult to prise him away from Anfield.

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Yaya Toure Voted Ivorian Player Of The Year


According to a report posted on FIFA’s official website, Yaya Toure grabbed 39.58 per cent of the votes to win the fourth Ivorian Footballer of the Year gong.

Like in 2008, when he was first voted player of the year, Toure seduced the jury comprising of journalists and the public with his inspirational displays both for club and country.

This year he helped Barcelona win a historic treble; the Copa del Rey; the Primera Division title; and the Champions League.

He was followed in the poll by goalkeeper Boubacar Copa Barry, who grabbed 23.44 per cent of the votes. The Lokeren shot stopper ended the season on a high and was voted the Goalkeeper of the Year in Belgium. Chelsea star Didier Drogba followed in third position with 16.47 per cent.

Drogba came ahead of Marseille’s Bakari Kone (14.07 per cent) and Salomon Kalou of Chelsea (6.45 per cent), who completed the top five. Twenty-three players were initially listed to take part in the poll, in which only five made the final round.

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Barcelona Stars Get €4m Bonus From Joan Laporta For Historic 6-2 Win At Madrid


Barcelona have regarded their 6-2 win against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernebeu late last season as another trophy in itself to add to their grand treble.

And the Blaugrana players would have had even more reason to celebrate after it was revealed that they were offered a bonus by their president, Joan Laporta.

According to Sport, the Barcelona chief had promised to dish out a total of €4 million, or €200,000 each, for the 25 players in the squad if they managed to win at the Bernabeu back in early May.

And Barcelona superstars delivered in style as they handed their ferocious foes one of their worst Clasico defeats in history - and, in the process, all but guaranteed that the Primera Division trophy would be heading back to the Camp Nou.

But that wasn’t the only payment Joan Laporta had to part with. The Barcelona based daily reports that the players had also been promised €3m if they made it all the way to the final of the Champions League and another €1m for the Copa del Rey.

All in all, the Catalan club had to sacrifice €8m in various bonuses, an amount that has affected their transfer budget for this summer. But not surprisingly, Sport believes that the 'cost' of the historic win was worth its weight in gold.

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Xavi: There’s No Room For Ronaldo At Treble Hunting Barcelona


After adding the FIFA Confederations Cup bronze medal with Spain to his European Championship, Primera Division, Copa del Rey and Champions League honours list, Xavi is now ready to head off to a well-earned holiday.

But before leaving football behind for the next few weeks or so, the Barcelona midfield mastermind looked forward to next season and warned his rivals that the Blaugrana will be aiming for another treble at the very least.

“We are in a very privileged situation. We know that Barca are in good football health and next season we will be presented with an exciting challenge,” he said in an interview with Sport.

“We have won more titles than we expected and because we have done so well, we have been rewarded with three more competitions and that makes us very excited.

“We have a lot of desire to continue winning. This group has a strong mentality and why shouldn’t we dream about winning the treble again? I already said it last year and we managed to obtain it.

“It is no longer a dream, although we are aware that it will be difficult [to win it again]. In the history of Spanish football, it has only been done once, but it is also necessary to keep thinking that we will get six next time.”

One of the three extra trophies Barcelona will be contesting for, aside from the Spanish and UEFA Supercups, is the Club World Cup. And having flopped once in 2006 in Japan, Xavi assured that he and his team-mates are eager to make amends.

“We are very excited about that competition. After playing and losing in the final once, I am very motivated to try and win it,” he stressed.

“We will not make the same mistakes again. The majority of this squad have already experienced it once, and we will make sure we work hard for it, make sacrifices and maintain our humility.

“In the world of sport, if you do not strive, you will be surpassed.”

Finally, the 29-year-old playmaker spoke about his arch nemeses, Real Madrid, and the rebirth of the Galacticos empire, their quest to sign the best players in the world and the recent confirmation that Cristiano Ronaldo is now a Merengue.

“The best player in the world is Lionel Messi and there’s no chance he will switch allegiance,” he declared.

“We also have Andres Iniesta, Thierry Henry and Samuel Eto’o and with that kind of luxury, we are capable of doing anything.

“As for Ronaldo, I wouldn’t want him here. At Barca, we do not have room for players who fill gossip magazines. We are hard workers and sportsmen but he, on the other hand, is uncontrollable.”

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Barcelona Star Samuel Eto'o Will Not Be World's Best Paid Player At Manchester City


Manchester City have every intention of signing Eto'o, but he will not be made the best paid player in the world.

After news of City's massive transfer bid for Samuel Eto'o surfaced, many, including Barcelona president Joan Laporta, suggested that the deal would make Samuel Eto'o the highest earning player in the world.

According to The Daily Express, however, representatives of the English club have insisted that that will not be the case.

Earlier reports had indicated that Samuel Eto'o would earn in the region of €211,000 (£180,000) per week, leading to an annual salary of around €14 million (£12m).

However, City officials insist that in a bid to avoid dressing-room unrest, Samuel Eto'o will be paid no more than what Robinho, currently the club's top earner, makes. This would place his wages at around €187,000 (£160,000) per week.

Barcelona are keen to accept City's €29m bid, as Samuel Eto'o is off contract in a year's time and could leave for free at that point.

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Messi Is The Best Footballer In History


It is a debate that will probably never end who is the greatest footballer of all time? Pele or Maradona?

Neither, according to Barcelona president Joan Laporta, who insists that 22 year old Lionel Messi has already proven himself to be the best player ever to pull on a pair of boots.

Joan Laporta also fielded questions on the future of forward Samuel Eto’o, with speculation intensifying that Manchester City have launched a monster bid for the Cameroon international.

“Samuel Eto’o wants to stay, but an offer like that from Manchester City is very difficult to refuse,” admitted the 46 year old lawyer.

“Txiki Begiristain is who should make this decision.”

Finally, Joan Laporta added that the club may have cooled their interest in
Deportivo La Coruna full back Filipe, after his club placed a huge transfer fee on his head.

Coach Pep Guardiola had pinpointed the left sided player as cover for Eric Abidal, but Laporta appeared to draw the curtains on the deal.

“We have made a sensible offer, but if [Augusto Cesar] Lendoiro speaks of €20m, then he is out of our market,” concluded the Barcelona man.

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Villa Chase Hleb


Barcelona midfielder Alexander Hleb is a transfer target for Aston Villa, according to Daily Star Sunday.

Hleb has been enduring a tough time at Barcelona, as first team opportunities are proving to be very elusive.

The former Stuttgart man has only made 19 league appearances for the Spanish giants since his £11.8 million move from Arsenal last year, and it is believed that he would like a return to the Premier League.

Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill is yet to make his first summer signing, but is thought to be on the lookout for a defender to replace Martin Laursen, who was forced to retire at the end of last season through injury, as well as looking to boost his options further forward.

Villa have the transfer funds available, as American billionaire owner randy Lerner has stated that he is willing to hand O'Neill massive funds for the summer, and a move for Hleb could be forthcoming.

The 28 year old would have a much better chance of regular first team football at Villa Park, and it is believed that he is keen on a move away from Camp Nou.

The Birmingham based club are also looking to strengthen their midfield after losing captain Gareth Barry to Manchester City.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger could also bid for Hleb, with the midfielder set to cost around £7 million.

Hleb has not yet scored for the Spanish club, but picked up a domestic and European cup treble last season.

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Joan Laporta - Manchester City Have Made A Monster Offe’ for Eto’o


Barca president Joan Laporta has admitted that Manchester City have made a monster offer for striker Eto’o.

Samuel Eto'o future remains the topic of much debate with conflicting reports in today’s British press over whether or not he will move to Eastlands.

However, according to Sky Sports News, the Barcelona president has now stated that the Citizens have made the striker a huge offer, which he described as “stratospheric”.

Joan Laporta reportedly went on to say that the offer from City would, “Convert Eto’o into the best paid player in the world”.

The 46 year old insisted that Samuel Eto’o wants to stay at the Camp Nou but hinted that such a huge offer may be difficult to refuse.

He also added that, should the striker make the switch to England, then the European champions would have to bring in a replacement.

"It's starting to become clear that he has this monster offer,” he explained.

“He wants to stay, but an offer like this is very difficult to refuse."

“If Samuel Eto’o accepts this stratospheric offer, we would have to bring in someone.”

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Xavi: Villa Would Be Perfect For Barca


Barca midfielder Xavi Hernandez is doing his bit to lure David Villa to Barcelona, by singing the striker's praises.

David Villa had gone through a tough personal time during the early stages of the Confederations Cup, as rumours about his future intensified. When all the speculation had died down a little, he thanked Pepe Reina, Carles Puyol and Xavi Hernandez for their support. To this end, Xavi wanted to stress the great relationship he has with El Guaje, saying, "We have been supporting him and I think he is fine now."

"He seems calm, although maybe inside he is still worried, because these situations are not easy for anyone. I have known him for a long time, and we have a great relationship.

"He has always been great friends with the Barcelona players and we joke a lot together."

Finally, Xavi left no doubt as to Villa's ability to fit into the Barcelona system, stating, "He has great technique, an eye for goal and would fit into our style perfectly."

If the latest rumours are to be believed, Villa will end up at Barcelona next season, a move that could trigger Samuel Eto'o's exit, possibly to Manchester City, while Keirrison will be loaned out to Valencia, after signing for Barcelona.

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la Blaugrana To Offer Valencia Martin Caceres, Keirrison & €40m For Villa


Barca are preparing a mega bid for Villa as they seek a swift resolution to negotiations.

According to Sport, the Catalan are prepared to offer Valencia €40 million plus Martin Caceres on a permanent deal and Keirrison on loan. While this is not a final offer, it is believed that Barcelona are unwilling to offer too much more.

Keirrison is expected to sign a five year contract with La Blaugrana on Tuesday, and the club are keen for him to get some top flight experience away from the pressures of the Barcelona Giants. Indeed, Valencia have been tracking him for some time, and tried to sign him in January.

Martin Caceres, meanwhile, failed to impress in his first season at the club, even being overlooked at centre back in favour of Yaya Toure towards the latter stages. He would fill a hole at Valencia, with Raul Albiol already having been sold to Real Madrid.

Manchester United are said to have offered €48 million for David Villa, but Barcelona can count on his desire to stay in Spain in their favour.

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Barca Tempt Porto With Henrique In Bruno Alves Bid


Barca have stepped up their push to sign Bruno Alves from Fc Porto.

According to Sport, Barcelona are preparing to enter into negotiations with the Portuguese club, having decided on Bruno Alves as their primary defensive target.

Indeed, they are prepared to offer Henrique, who spent last season on loan at Bayer Leverkusen, in part exchange. However, this is by no means a certainty, as Pep Guardiola is keen to give the player, whom Barcelona signed for €8 million from Palmeiras last summer, a chance to impress in pre season.

Alves' father recently stated that were the clubs to agree a deal, his son would not hesitate to join the Catalan, leading many to believe there had already been initial contact between the parties. Porto, however, have stated that they have not received any offers.

Should the deal go through, Bruno Alves is expected to sign for five seasons. Henrique, meanwhile, would be an attractive option for Porto, as they tried to sign him a year ago before losing out to Barcelona.

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Sandro Rosell Wants Fabregas On His Barca Ticket


Future Barca presidential candidate Sandro Rosell has lined Fabregas up as the poster boy of his campaign.

Laporta's time as president at Barcelona will end after this season, and his former right hand man, Rosell, is widely expected to contest the elections. He has already begun preparations, and, according to AS, his attentions are firmly focussed on Cesc Fabregas.

When the player left Barca in 2003, Rosell tried to obtain a first transfer option should Arsenal ever decide to sell him. They are unlikely to do so, but Sandro Rosell believes that the summer of 2010 will be the perfect time for Cesc to return to Barcelona, especially as it would be on the back of a World Cup.

Cesc Fabregas has made no secret of his desire to return to the Camp Nou at some stage in his career, but he has committed to Arsenal for the coming season.

Sandro Rosell, meanwhile, has a history of structuring major deals, and he is rumoured to be one of the main factors behind Ronaldinho's initial decision to join the club.

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Eto'o Preparing For Barcelona Exit By Negotiating With Manchester City - Report


Eto'o is edging ever closer to an exit from Barca, with Manchester City looming as the likeliest destination.

According to El Mundo Deportivo, Eto'o is now open to a move to Eastlands, having previously been uninterested in City's proposal. Indeed, Samuel Eto'o is rumoured to have already begun negotiations about his potential contract.

Samuel Eto'o is requesting a contract of four or five years, with some suggesting that City would make him the highest paid player in the world. The move could be beneficial for all parties, as Manchester City are offering Barcelona more than any other club, with the transfer fee thought to be in the region of €30 million.

Barcelona are desperate to cash in on Samuel Eto'o given that he could leave for free when his contract expires next summer.

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Barca Considering Bid For Fiorentina's Felipe Melo


Barca are considering a move for Felipe Melo, should their bids for Mascherano and De Rossi not come to fruition.

With Yaya Toure and Seydou Keita set to miss most of January due to the African Nations Cup, Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola is desperate for midfield reinforcements. According to El Mundo Deportivo, Pep Guardiola has eyed Melo as a suitable alternative, as negotiations for Javier Mascherano and Daniele De Rossi continue to drag on.

After a stellar season for Fiorentina, Melo has established himself as a regular in Dunga's Brazil team. He also has considerable experience of La Liga, having played for Mallorca, Racing Santander and Almeria previously.

However, a move is still a distant possibility, as the player has repeatedly spoken of his desire to stay with Fiorentina, who have no intention of selling him. It is believed that Barcelona would have to offer a minimum of €20 million to begin to interest La Viola.

Internazionale, Juventus, Arsenal, Manchester City and Real Madrid have all been linked with the player in the recent past.

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Deportivo Reject Barca Latest Filipe Offer


Filipe Luis' proposed move from Deportivo to Barca is no closer to being sealed, with Depor president Augusto Lendoiro rejecting Barca's latest offer.

Speaking to AS, Lendoiro said, "We have an offer of €8 million that we consider completely insufficient, given that his buy out clause is €20 million.

"Once they pay the clause, then they can start negotiating. Filipe's agents already know that if there is to be a transfer, we want it to conclude soon."

Lendoiro then said that he was not interested in receiving fringe players from Barca as part of the deal, while denying that he had offered Filipe to Real Madrid. The Brazilian has made his intention to move to Barcelona abundantly clear in recent times.

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Patrick Kluivert Dreams Of Managing Barca


Ex-Barcelona Patrick Kluivert has said that he hopes to return to the club as manager one day.

Kluivert's former team mate, Josep Guardiola, has enjoyed unprecedented success in his first managerial season, winning the treble with Barca.

And, speaking to Sport, Kluivert stressed that he was keen to follow in his footsteps, saying, "Pep is a soulmate."

"He always encouraged me and I hope to have the same success as him some day. My dream is to coach Barcelona.

"The Dutch federation allows footballers to do a short course that allows us to coach any team. I want to take advantage of that opportunity, because besides being a football lover, I need to look after my future."

Kluivert has clearly been thinking about the topic, as he showed when he compared Guardiola's situation to Diego Maradona's at Argentina.

"Great players don't always become great coaches," he added.

"However, it is clear that he will always be important because of his experiences. His mere presence will inspire Argentina, and that is exactly what I want to instill in the teams that I coach in the future.

"Football has evolved a lot, and sport and science are now allies, which is a positive thing. I intend to continue that tradition."

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Keirrison Issues Personal Statement To Clarify Barca Situation


Keirrison has issued a personal statement in an attempt to clarify his current situation.

Keirrison is currently the subject of a controversial transfer bid from Barca that has resulted in Palmeiras coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo's departure from the club.

To clarify the situation, Keirrison issued the following statement on his personal web site:

'Dear friends and fans, I will, unfortunately, not be participating in the next match against Santos. The decision was taken as a group with the board of directors and while the official negotiations with Barcelona take place, I will train on my own.'

Barcelona are widely expected to complete the signing for a fee of around €15-20 million in the coming days. It remains to be seen whether Keirrison will remain at the Catalan, or be used in a potential deal for David Villa.

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Toure Yaya Extends Barca Contract Until 2012


Yaya Toure has reportedly finalised a contract extension with La Blaugrana which will see him stay until 2012 at least.

Yaya has been linked with a move away from Barcelona this summer, but he will now stay on with the Catalan side.

Marca report that Toure's agent, Dmitri Seluk, met with Barcelona's technical secretary Txiki Bergiristain this afternoon and after the encounter emerged saying that an agreement had been reached.

He also added that he would return with the player later today so that they could put pen to paper on the deal.

All that remains now is for the extension to be officially announced by the club, which could well come this evening or over the weekend.

It is reported that as well as lengthening his stay with Barca, the new contract has brought improvements to Toure's wages.

Yaya Toure joined Barcelona club back in 2007 from Monaco and has since played over 50 games for them.

His presence in the midfield was a key part of the success last season and he scored the opening goal in the Copa del Rey final.

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I Want To Join A Big Team And Barca Are The Best Right Now


Filipe has admitted that he wants to join a big Spanish team and that at the moment, Barcelona are the best team around.

The defender has been widely linked with a move away from Deportivo La Coruna this summer, with Barcelona as a possible destination.

In an interview with Ona FM, he explained that he has enjoyed his time with Depor, but that he would like to leave.

"Deportivo have treated me as family and have taken care of me a lot. They know what I want, we have spoken many times and I will defend them, but I want to be in Spain and I want to go to a big club," he said.

"I don't know what will happen, a player wants to fight for a place and to always play. With Deportivo I did that and if I go I will continue to do the same."

One of the problems for Filipe and Barcelona could be Depor president, Augusto Cesar Lendoiro, who is known to be a tough negotiator.

Filipe admitted that they have a right to make demands and that there is a contract which nobody forced me to sign.

He also spoke about the fact that he does not wish to leave Spain this summer, stating "Spain is the country I like the most, I am completely adapted to the league and the language. I don't want to go".

As well as proving himself at club level, Filipe acknowledged that moving to another side could help his chances with the Brazilian national team.

"To get in the national team is very hard but I want to play for Brazil. In this sense it would be good to move and I would have a chance as, at right back we have some of the best players in the world, but at left back not so much, therefore I believe I can do it and I want to play there," he concluded.

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Barcelona Striker Thierry Henry Could Finish His Career In MLS


Thierry Henry has revealed that he is seriously contemplating playing in MLS in the United States before retiring, and New York Red Bulls would be his preferred team.

Henry was in the Big Apple to compete in a high profile charity game organised by basketball star Steve Nash and was asked about his desire to play in America.

At 31, Henry still believes that he has something to offer Barca and wants to complete his contract with the European champions before considering moving across the Pond.

"Could I play for New York Red Bulls at some point? It could be possible in 2011," he is quoted as saying by Sport.

"One never knows, but the truth is that it is an option that could be likely.

"I want to stay with Barca for two more seasons and then I will leave."

Henry struggled in his first season with Barcelona, but came good last term as he bagged 25 goals of the 97 scored by the front three that included him, Lionel Messi and Samuel Eto'o.

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Barcelona Offer David Villa A Four Year Deal


David Villa is set to be offered a four year contract by Barca at the same time as Valencia mull over a bid that could total around €45 million for their star striker, according to a report in AS.

David Villa is still on international duty with Spain in South Africa and admits that he doesn't know anything new because he has asked to be kept out of things until he returns.

El Mundo Deportivo believe that Barcelona will be ready with a lucrative contract and, although Villa claims he has yet to decide, the deal is all but completed.

"When all is said and done I am calm. It is true that I have been through a tough week, like I have said before," David Villa is quoted as saying.

"I think that could partly be my fault because of the way things went and because I came out here unable to say anything more and had to try and focus.

"I have spent five days without talking about my future. I haven't read anything in the papers and I can't give it any importance.

"I don't know where I will be next season. I have a contract with Valencia and last week the last news I heard was that the club wanted me to stay unless a very big offer was made.

"I don't know what has happened since, whether there have been changes, because I haven't wanted to know anything.

"From Sunday onwards I will rest with my family and then I will speak to the club and see what they want and from there decide what is to do.

"For a long time I have stated that my dream is to play my entire career in the Spanish league because it is the one that I am suited to and is best for my characteristics.

"This is not a new thing, it is something that I have always maintained."

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Gerard Pique Believes Cesc Fabregas Will End Up At Barca


Barca defender Gerard Pique believes that Francesc Fabregas will move to Barcelona at some stage in his career.

There have been wild rumours circulating recently involving Fabregas and possible links to Real Madrid and Milan, but the Arsenal captain has moved swiftly to quash all speculation.

The playmaker has continued to pledge his future to the Gunners but Barcelona defender Pique believes that it’s only a matter of time before the former Blaugrana canterano ends up back at the Catalan.

“I don't think that Cesc will join Real Madrid. In football, you can never say that something is impossible, but I can’t see him signing for Madrid,” he said in an interview with Sport.

“I believe that one day, we will be playing together. I’ve always said that Cesc will one day end up back in the Barcelona shirt. He doesn’t want to admit it, but I always tell him the same thing.”

The 22 year old treble winner was then asked if Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was ever regretful for letting him go.

“I don't want to think about it and I don’t believe it’s something that’s on his mind either,” he replied.

“It was a mutual decision by both parties as we decided that the best thing was for me to leave. And I thought so too.

“I am grateful to him and I will always be grateful because it gave me the opportunity to return to Barcelona.”

Finally, Gerard Pique admitted that he always knew bitter rivals Real Madrid would spend lavishly this summer following a disappointing campaign last term.

“It was expected. The big teams always have the pressure to win titles and when you go for even a year without silverware, as is Madrid’s case, you need to bring in great players,” he explained.

“They have decided to sign players like Ricardo Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo but that will be fantastic for La Liga. We will have the strongest league once again.”

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Iniesta Not Envious Of RicardoKaka & Cristiano Ronaldo Swoop


Madrid's have so far been roundly criticised for their mammoth spending in their attempts to bring Ronaldo to Real Madrid, but Barcelona's Andres Iniesta couldn’t care less about their arch rivals’ controversial transfer activities.

“They Kaka and Ronaldo are two of the best players, but we don't have anything to be envious about,” Iniesta said during an interview on late night talk show programme, 'Buenafuente', as reported by AS.

“We have already had a spectacular season and I always had faith that things would turn out well for us,” he added.

Andres Iniesta was then asked by the host, Andreu Buenafuente, to explain a video of him as an 11 year old, declaring his love for Real Madrid.

“My very first team was Albacete and my second was Barcelona, but we had to face each other one day and Barcelona put seven goals past us. That’s why I had to change,” he clarified.

“But then I came to La Masia and I became a cule more than ever. Barcelona and Catalunya have given practically everything to me and my family, which is why I want to devote the rest of my playing career to Barcelona,” he beamed.

Finally, Iniesta, currently recovering from injury, spoke about Spain’s shock elimination from the Confederations Cup.

“It just goes to show that it is not easy to win these matches. Everyone in Spain was already thinking about Brazil,” he moaned.

According to AS, during the interview the phone on Buenafuente’s desk rang and he informed Iniesta that Madrid president Florentino Perez was on the line. The Barca man told the host to hang up.

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Filipe Is Desperate To Play For Barca


Deportivo are bracing themselves to lose one of their more influential figures over the past few seasons, Filipe after the left back continued to confess his desire to join Barca.

Depor coach Miguel Angel Lotina has even started to make plans for the squad in anticipation of the Brazilian’s departure, even though the Galician outfit have yet to receive any satisfactory offers for the player.

“It’s logical that he wants to go to Barcelona,” Lotina told COM Radio.

“We told him everything is calm, but he told us that he is nervous, that he’s losing sleep because he is excited by the prospect of joining a club like Barcelona.”

While Depor could expect to pocket as much as €12 million if the 23 year old Filipe does swap the Riazor for the Catalan, Lotina believes that it will be Barcelona who will get the better end of the deal.

“He is a great player, a complete footballer,” he praised. “He is an athlete with a lot of ability and he is technically very strong.

“He is a team player and really well mannered and he is someone who always wants to improve.”

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Casillas Would Be Happy For Villa Even If He Joined Barca


Villa came close to becoming Casillas’ new team mate at Real Madrid just a few weeks ago, but now it seems that Barca have suddenly become the frontrunners to sign the Valencia striker.

But despite the prospect that ‘San Iker’ might have to one day go face to face with ‘El Guaje’ in El Clasico, the shot stopper extraordinaire confessed that he just wants his close friend to be happy.

“He is a fantastic player and if he must sign for Barca, I will be glad for him and his family,” he told Radio Marca.

“I just hope that, above all else, things will turn out well for him.”

Casillas won’t be too disappointed that Los Blancos will lose out on the Che hot shot, considering the galactic reinforcements the ‘Casa Blanca’ will likely bring in for the remainder of the summer.

“The signings that Madrid have made so far have been very positive. I hope that we will now be able to deliver a spectacle again but at the same time achieve the objectives of the club,” he affirmed, before going on to add that the reports linking him with a move to Manchester United are nothing more than rumours.

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Brazil Hero Dani Alves Delighted With Stunning Winner Against South Africa


Brazil edged South Africa 1-0 in the semi-finals of the FIFA Confederations Cup to book a ticket to the showpiece finale on Sunday, when they will take on the United States.

Barcelona’s marauding wing-back, Dani Alves, was the hero of the night for the Copa America champions when he came on as a substitute in the 82nd minute before ripping in the winner from a free kick two minutes from time.

“I’m impressed with the goal that I scored today,” he said during the post-match interviews.

“I’m happy to get a chance to play and help the team. When you are on the bench, you always have an enormous desire to enter the game and today was one of those days.”

In regards to his free kick goal, Alves recounted, “I struck the ball really well but my team-mates also did their bit because they formed a really good distraction next to the wall and that disrupted the goalkeeper’s vision.”

The 26-year-old, however, was slightly disappointed that he won’t be able to go up against some of his club-mates and rivals from Spain, after they were eliminated by the USA in the other semi-final. But he admitted that the upset result has taught his Brazilian side a lesson.

“In a tournament like this, every team will have their chances,” he said. “Spain’s game last night served as a lesson for us before we took on South Africa, and it will also serve as a lesson for us ahead of Sunday’s final.”

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Manchester City Edge Closer To Eto'o As Barca Chase Villa


According to various news sources, Manchester City are making big strides towards signing Eto'o from Barca, just as Barcelona themselves are hot on the heels of David Villa.

The Valencia striker has stressed repeatedly that he aims to remain in Spain, and although Los Che are desperate to keep him, their financial situation means they are almost certain to sell.

Florentino Perez's big spending Real Madrid were leading the chase but have since eased off, leaving the path clear for Barcelona to make their move for 'El Guaje'.

However, Barcelona are reportedly working off a transfer budget of around €35 million this summer not enough to nab David Villa, apparently - and so it is expected Samuel Eto'o will be sacrificed to raise funds.

Barcelona have set their price at around €29 million steep for a player entering the last season of his contract, but no issue for a City side backed by the inexhaustible wealth of the Abu Dhabi United Group.

It seems that Mark Hughes, the Citizens boss, has pegged Samuel Eto'o as the ideal addition to a forward line in the midst of what it is expected to be a massive overhaul.

Roque Santa Cruz has already arrived at Eastlands and Carlos Tevez could join him, while Daniel Sturridge is off to Chelsea and Ched Evans, Benjani Mwaruwari, Felipe Caicedo, Valeri Bojinov and Jo could all leave.

Inter have also been keeping track of Samuel Eto'o, but it is thought that the prices be being bandied about have turned them off the three time African Footballer of the Year.

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Villa Will Join Barca When The Price Is Right


Villa will sign for Barca this summer when Valencia and the European champions have agreed a fee and a method of payment, according to reports in Spain.

The Spanish international striker's next move will be made public after this weekend, but both Sport and El Mundo Deportivo have both stated that he will move to Barcelona.

Barca have been in the driving seat since talks took place two weeks ago between the clubs, but the only thing remaining to be sorted is the price tag involved.

El Mundo Deportivo believe that Barcelona will offer €40 million and could go to €45m, while Sport think that a deal is almost settled for €40m up front with €3m more depending on his achievements.

Sport also claim that David Villa has told his agent, Jose Luis Tamargo, to listen to Barcelona president, Joan Laporta, and talk to him about contracts.

Eto'o looks set to leave The Catalan after Pep Guardiola is believed to have asked the board at the beginning of the summer break for a new striker.

Impressed by his goalscoring exploits last term, the coach is not a big fan of the temperamental forward's attitude at times and now wants his own man brought in.

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Filipe Ready To Play For Barcelona


Filipe Luis is keen to ensure that Barca know he is ready to join them, as he has again spoken about his desire to move to the European champions from Deportivo de La Coruna.

Filipe is expected to join Barcelona this summer and he has stated that the step up is something that he is relishing and believes he is prepared for.

A fee of around €5 million is expected to be agreed for the Brazilian, whom Barcelona want to replace his compatriot Sylvinho after the former Arsenal and Celta Viga left back was released by the Catalan.

"Depor are a great club because they have won the league, but I have always dreamt of, and believe I am now ready to, play for a team that always plays for every trophy," Filipe is quoted as saying by Sport.

"Barcelona is the best team in the world and have won everything by defeating all their opponents.

"After five years of playing in Europe I think I am ready for this step up in quality.

"I think that I have the profile to play in a defence with the characteristics that the Barcelona side has.

"When you are playing in a team that sits back a lot you have to defend far more than if you are playing in a great team where you would have the chance to show what you can really do.

In every club I have played in I have had to compete for my place. Even at Depor it was not easy, but I have confidence in my own ability because I have grown a lot in the past two seasons."

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Lionel Messi Overtakes Overpriced Cristiano Ronaldo As New Media Darling


A recent study has shown that Messi has overtaken Ronaldo as the highest profile player in the world in terms of media value, a ranking that could go a long way to secure him the coveted Ballon d’Or at the end of the year, an award handed out by a panel of journalists.

According to the Faculty of Economics, Sports and Intangibles (ESI) at the University of Navarra, their research found that Messi was the most popular and most talked about player in the media throughout last season, and his goal in the final of the Champions League for Barcelona was the catalyst that pushed him past 'CR7'.

Ronaldo, who will become the most expensive player in the history of the game when his move to Real Madrid is officially completed, was also deemed the costliest player in the study, although the researchers only valued him at €82 million, a full €12 million less than what Los Blancos will be required to pay to Manchester United.

Lionel Messi, meanwhile, who turned 22 yesterday, was valued at €80m, with Liverpool star Fernando Torres coming in third at €67m.

In the team rankings, however, United and Barcelona are tied at top spot in the study, but Sir Alex Ferguson remains the most influential manager, ahead of Pep Guardiola.

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Barcelona Should Sign Villa - Xavi


Xavi believes that "David Villa" would be worth the same €60 million fee that Real Madrid paid for Ricardo Kaka and wants to see the striker join Barca.

Xavi Hernandez is currently on international duty with the Valencia star while speculation rages about whether he will leave Valencia and if he does, where he will go to.

Barcelona are said to be vying with Madrid for David Villa and Xavi Hernandez thinks that he would be worth a huge outlay because goals could be guaranteed and that makes him worth the millions.

"Yes, without doubt. Villa has goals in his blood and he worth that kind of money. What I want is for him to go where he will be happy, although I would like that to be Barcelona," he told AS.

Asked how much he himself would be worth in today's market after his man of the match displays in the European Championships final and the Champions League final, Xavi gave a definite answer.

"I don't have a price because Barcelona don't want to sell me and I don't want to go. It is my home and my club," he explained.

Barcelona will not be resting on their laurels and will be aiming to win six trophies next season in a season that Xavi thinks will be more exciting due to Madrid's summer spending.

"Along with Ronaldo and Kaka and with Barcelona it will be the best league in the world. It is good for all of us," he continued.

"The competition will be stronger and the fans will enjoy it more and the press too. Next season will be exciting.

"I side with Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi as the best, but Cristiano and Kaka are not bad either.

"We will continue to win trophies. Because we have won the treble this season, next season we have three more to go for with the Interncontinental Cup as well as the Spanish and European Super Cups.

"We will go out to win all six because if you only aim for five or less then you could up with nothing."

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Messi Calls For Javier Mascherano To Join Barcelona


Lionel Messi has repeated his call for Mascherano to join him at Barcelona amid speculation that the Liverpool midfielder could be set to leave Anfield this summer.

The Argentinean forward has voiced his desire for his compatriot to move to Barcelona in recent weeks and now he has done so once more by claiming he wants to play in the same team as him.

Barca have been linked with a move for Javier Mascherano, but Liverpool are not keen to sell.

"Of course I would like him to join, who would not want to play with great players like Javier Mascherano. I hope he can come here," lionel Messi told El Mundo Deportivo.

Lionel Messi is also aiming high next year as he hopes to help Barcelona add more trophies to this season's treble haul and then help his country to win the World Cup.

"There are two things I would wish for and the first is that Barca can win more trophies and the second is for Argentina to win the World Cup next year," he continued.

"We can dream about another treble, but it will be extremely difficult."

Asked whether he felt €94 million for Ronaldo was excessive, Messi was adamant that it was down to the clubs involved.

"If there is a club that sells and a club willing to buy then that is that. I am not going to enter into the rights and wrongs because that is not my place, I just play," he explained.

"It does seem like a big fee, but as I have said it is not really my place."

Whether Real Madrid's big spending would help them topple Barcelona was something that Lionel Messi was not sure about as he thinks that Barcelona already have a team.

"We will see. It seems that Madrid are building a good team, but we already have one and we will see if we can continue," he added.

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Toure Yaya To Pen New Barca Deal This Week


Toure Yaya is expected in Barca this week to put pen to paper on a new contract with barcelona and end the speculation that he could leave the club.

Toure Yaya outspoken agent, Dimitri Seluk, stated at the end of the season that Barcelona needed to show his client more respect or he could leave.

Talks between the two parties then failed to produce a result and speculation arose that Toure could move abroad, with Manchester City and Inter both said to be interested.

Instead, Barca have moved to ensure that he doesn't leave. Seluk is now confident that a new contract will be signed this week and that Toure Yaya can focus on playing again.

"Everything is almost in place. If all goes well, at the end of the week he will sign the renewal," El Mundo Deportivo quote the agent as saying.

"I hope that Yaya arrives on Thursday in Barca."

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Bojan Krkic Staying At Barcelona,Plays Up Guardiola Relationship


Barca starlet "Bojan Krkic" has become one of the most sought-after young players in Europe this summer, with countless clubs big and small trying to lure him to their team.

But the 18 year old, who had a disappointing tournament with Spain in the U-21 European Championships, has pledged his commitment to the Catalan once again, despite knowing full well he could spend the majority of next season warming the bench.

“The directors at Barcelona have told me to remain at the club and for me, that’s the end of it,” he was quoted as saying by Sport.

“I have a good relationship with Pep Guardiola and I have been given the playing time that I deserved.

“The problem is that it is very difficult to break into the first team when three of the best forwards in the world are ahead of you. But the important thing is that I have enjoyed every minute that I have played.”

Modest Getafe are the latest to have made an approach for Bojan Krkic, while a part exchange deal with Valencia involving David Villa has also been on the cards.

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Barcelona Sell Eto’o And Offer €40m For Villa


Barca may be reportedly on a tight transfer budget this summer, but that will not stop them from coming back and having another crack at signing Villa.

Despite Valencia president Manuel Llorente recently declaring that Villa is no longer for sale, bar a “scandalous offer”, Onda Cero believes that Barcelona are hoping to tempt the troubled Mestalla outfit with a decent proposal.

Sport, meanwhile, is confident that Barcelona will be in pole position to land ‘El Guaje’, when and if they make an official bid, because arch rivals Real Madrid had only recently affirmed, via director-general Jorge Valdano, that they are now out of the running for Villa’s signature as the two clubs are unable to break the impasse over his transfer fee.

The ‘Holy Trinity’ at Pep Guardiola, Txiki Begiristain and Joan Laporta - have already acknowledged that they consider David Villa a vital part of their future plans, while a large section of the Catalan based press believe that the Che hitman would prefer Barcelona over Madrid, in the event that the two rivals collide again for his signature.

The only issue for barca now is their budget. ‘El Tricampeon’ have no more than €35 million of their own money to spend this summer, but they are ready to rectify that with the sale of Eto’o.

According to TV3, Samuel Eto'o is only valued between €30-35m, a significantly inferior amount compared to his true market appraisal due to his contract expiry (June 2010), but it will be more than enough to fund the bulk of the €40m bid Barcelona are expected to offer Valencia.

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Gerard Pique: I Would Sign Villa For Barca


Pique has revealed that if he could sign anyone for Barca this summer it would be his Spanish team mate Villa.

David Villa has been linked with a move away from Valencia during the transfer window but recent developments mean he could now stay at Valencia.

Nevertheless, in an interview with RAC-1, Gerard Pique left no doubt that David Villa would be the man he would bring in if he was in charge.

"I would sign Villa right now. It is clear that he has had a great season with Valencia and he would fit in perfectly at Barca," he declared.

Gerard Pique is currently away with David Villa and the rest of the Spanish squad at the Confederations Cup but he admitted he has not spoken to 'El Guaje' about his future.

"Each person decides where they should go, so it is not a talking point and I prefer not to ask him because in cases like this many things can happen," he mused.

With regards to the rest of the moves this summer, Gerard Pique explained that "we see it along with Xavi and Carles Puyol on the internet, although it is slow here".

Speaking about the spending made by Real Madrid and in particular the impending deal for Ronaldo, Pique said if they meet again, "my display will be the same as in Rome. We have to trust ourselves".

"After the year they had it was clear they had to reinforce to win titles, but we do not think there is pressure on us to sign," he said.

Finally, Gerard Pique was asked about his own future, and assured the fans that it is not away from Barcelona.

"I have already told my agent that I don't want to hear any offers because I am very comfortable and happy at Barcelona," he concluded.

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I Would Not Pick Up The Phone To Talk To Perez - Xavi


midfielder of Barca Xavi has revealed that he would not pick up the phone to talk to Perez as he would not be happy in Madrid.

The Spanish star has been with Barcelona since he was a youngster and has developed into one of their most important players in the centre of the pitch.

Despite all the cash that Perez is flashing at Madrid since being re elected as president at the Bernabeu, Xavi assured fans that he would not consider switching.

"I would not pick up the phone to Perez. I would not be happy in Madrid, I have a lot of cule in me and it is very well established. But ok, if he wants to pay the conference call," he joked in an interview with El Pais.

With regard to all the money Perez is spending at Real Madrid, Xavi revealed that he thinks "it is good for the Spanish league and for the competitiveness between Barcelona and Real Madrid".

Asked about Barcelona's own plans this summer and how he would like a front line including Villa and Ribery, Xavi declared that they would fit in well.

"David Villa and Franck Ribery are top quality players and they would adapt well at Barcelona. We also have Henry, Eto'o and Bojan ," he mused.

Of more immediate concern for Xavi though is Spain's game against the United States in the Confederations Cup tomorrow, which could take them through to a final against Brazil.

"It will not be easy. Even though they do not have much history, they made life hard for us in a friendly in Santander. Altidore, Bradley and Donovan are good players," he said.

"I hope that Brazil would be our opponents [if we make it to the final]. We would like to compete with them and we would not lose our style, the feel, the triangles and the possession to win games."

As well as the actions on the pitch, Xavi spoke about those off it, revealing who are the jokers in the Spanish squad.

"There are many funny players; Pepe Reina, Guiza, David Villa, me...The intellectual is Marchena, the big eater, Pepe Reina of course, the sleepy heads, Fabregas and Pique, and the womaniser, Sergio Ramos," he declared.

Finally, the much lauded midfielder was asked about whether he is ever disappointed not to receive individual awards.

"I represent the collective play and these awards are for people who completely change games. Therefore I am used to not having many votes," he concluded.

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Milito Wanted By Independiente


Independiente coach Americao Ruben Gallego has revealed that he wants to sign Gaby Milito from Barca to bolster his team's rearguard for the new season.

The trainer, known more commonly as Tolo, made no secret about which player he would like and it remains to be seen if the Argentinian international feels the same way.

Gaby Milito is almost fully fit after nearly 14 months on the sidelines with a serious knee injury, and has yet to discuss his future with Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola.

In a bid to give him another option, Gallego has made it clear that should the former Real Zaragoza star have any doubts then there is an option waiting for him back home.

"I want players with courage and if I had to choose, I want a leader in my team like Milito," he told reporters in Argentina.

The interest in Gaby Milito from Independiente is nothing new as the club have been linked with him for the past few weeks as he nears his return to playing.

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Joan Laporta - Barca Criticism Rebounded On Media


The President Joan Laporta was keen to remind the Madrid based critics that their campaign to disrupt Barca during the season failed miserably as la Blaugrana won the treble.

The Camp Nou supremo revealed that he read all the papers when they talked about 'canguelos' and 'cagómetros' ('fear-readers' and 'scare-o-metres') and was now pleased to remind the writers of that.

"During the season there were some people who talked about 'fear readers' and 'scare o metres' and now it appears that they are trying to write over what they did," Joan Laporta told the media.

"I refer to the journalists who during the season criticised us and now it has all blown up in their faces.

"I have had the opportunity to read it all and they intended to belittle what we did, but however much they tried to cause problems and divide us, nobody can avoid the fact that Barcelona won the cup, the title and Champions League.

"I am proud of the treble success and believe that we have made history as well as restoring the prestige of the club."

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Barcelona To Fight For Eden Hazard


Barca are weighing up whether to make a formal offer to prise highly rated Eden Hazard away from Lille or whether to wait until next summer when he has more experience, according to a report in Sport.

The Catalan have monitored the Belgian starlet since his appearance at the Under 17 European Championships in 2007 and believe that he could be ready to join them.

But Barcelona hierarchy are wrestling with the thought that he may be better staying in France and playing regularly for Lille than joining them and playing a bit role next term.

Hazard has been watched by many of the continent's biggest sides, with interest in England particularly high as Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea have all made enquiries about him.

One plan that Barca are mooting is to discover Lille's asking price and then try to set up a deal that sees him loaned back to the Ligue 1 outfit for a year.

Despite still only being 18, Hazard has already made four appearances for Belgium's national team after jumping straight to the highest level from the U 17 side.

Football is in the Hazard family as his younger brother Thorgan, 16, plays for Racing Club de Lens in their youth teams, however, he has yet to make the step up that Eden has.

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Barcelona Interested Daniele De Rossi


Daniele De Rossi has caught the attention of Barca, according to the latest reports coming from Italy.

In fact, the Corriere dello Sport is suggesting that Barcelona are presently preparing an offer for the World Cup winning player.

This link has also been mentioned by the Spanish daily El Mundo Deportivo, which has reported that the player is in the agenda of Barca manager Txiki Begiristain.

Apparently, Barcelona have been following De Rossi for quite some time, and it is thought that he was already in their short list last year when Guardiola a former clubmate of De Rossi took over at Camp Nou.

De Rossi is seen as the alternative to Liverpool midfielder Mascherano; therefore, if Barca fail to sign the Argentine player, they will direct their attention on the Roma man.

Increasing the speculation about this move is the uncertainty surrounding the Italian club, and also the fact that De Rossi's 2008-09 campaign wasn't one of his finest.

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