Barcelona keen to offload 14 players

May 11th, 2008 - 2:23 pm ICT by admin  

Madrid, May 11 (DPA) Troubled Spanish football giants Barcelona are keen to offload no less than 14 players this summer. According to Saturday’s edition of Sport, club president Joan Laporta and incoming coach Josep Guardiola are determined to have a “massive cleanout” in the fractious Barca dressing room, after two seasons without a trophy.

Laporta and Guardiola will consult with former Barca player and coach Johan Cruyff, the man who recommended that Guardiola be brought in to replace Frank Rijkaard, despite all opinion polls suggesting that the fans would prefer Jose Mourinho.

The highest that Barca can finish this season in Spanish La Liga is third. They are seven points behind second-placed Villarreal with just two games left and 17 points behind champions Real Madrid.

On Sunday Rijkaard and several players — though not the mysteriously injured Ronaldinho — will say goodbye to the Camp Nou in the otherwise meaningless home game against Mallorca.

On the list of unwanted players are reserve goalkeepers Jose Manuel Pinto and Albert Jorquera. Victor Valdes will stay, though the club will sign another goalkeeper.

Defenders Oleguer Presas, Gianluca Zambrotta, Lilian Thuram, Rafa Marquez, Jose Edmilson and Sylvinho are all on the hit list.

Catalan sports paper Mundo Deportivo claimed Saturday that Guardiola would like to sign Mancini from AS Roma.

Deco and Samuel Eto’o will also be up for sale. Laporta is furious at this pair for apparently missing Wednesday’s 1-4 thrashing by Real Madrid on purpose, by picking up absurd yellow cards in the previous game.

According to Mundo Deportivo, Barca are keen on Arsenal playmaker Alexander Hleb.

Laporta and Guardiola are also keen to sell off forwards Ronaldinho, Thierry Henry, Eidur Gudjohnsen and Santi Ezquerro, together with Eto’o.

Ronaldinho, of course, has not played since the 1-2 home defeat against Villarreal March 9, claiming an enigmatic injury that has divided the club doctors and led to all manner of speculation about an unprofessional lifestyle.

Mundo Deportivo claimed Saturday that Klaas-Jan Huntelaar of Ajax is top of Barca’s wanted striker list, though Sport believes that the “big priority” is to sign Karim Benzema from Olympique Lyon.

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