Barça deny Mourinho speculation

The Barcelona president, Joan Laporta, has given his backing to the club's coach, Frank Rijkaard, and denied reports that the club plan to recruit Jose Mourinho as his replacement.

"We have full confidence in Frank and believe that he is the ideal coach for Barcelona," Laporta said. "He has the perfect temperament for a Barcelona coach and will be with us as long as he wants. Mourinho is a great professional and we know that everyone wants to come to Barcelona, but we can't have two coaches at the same time."

Rijkaard steered Barça to two league titles and victory in the Champions League in his first three seasons at the Nou Camp. But last season his team relinquished the Spanish title to Real Madrid and they currently trail their rivals by six points in La Liga. Asked about the speculation over the future of the out-of-form Ronaldinho, Laporta said Barcelona had no intention of letting the 27-year-old Brazilian leave the club.

"We don't want to sell him. He's got a contract and he will stay at Barça as long as he wants. I know that he is happy in the city and at the club. The club is determined to help him recover. We are grateful for everything he has done for us."

The Spanish sports daily Marca reported yesterday that Barça had begun their preparations for next season by closing a deal worth between €14m and €18m (£10.4m-£13.4m) to sign Racing Santander defender Ezequiel Garay. The club denied the report, although they did admit that the highly-rated Argentine centre-back was among the list of possible new recruits for next season.

"We have not signed the player," a Barcelona spokesman said. "We announce signings only when everything is closed. He may, however, be among the list of players that the club's technical staff are following with a view to their arrival next season."

Elsewhere, a Lisbon court has ordered Sporting Lisbon to organise a testimonial match for their former captain Ivaylo Iordanov.

The 39-year-old former Bulgaria international, who retired in 2001 after almost 10 years with Sporting, turned to the court because of a clause in his contract that said the Portuguese club had to arrange a benefit match.

"Justice was done. Iordanov simply fulfilled the contract, in contrast with the club," his lawyer Jose Serrao said.

Midfielder Iordanov, who won the Portuguese league title with the club in 2000 and the domestic Cup in 1995, revealed that the two sides had failed to reach an out-of-court agreement. He denied speculation that the club had paid him compensation for not organising the testimonial. "It's not true," Iordanov said. "I received the support of around 200 fan clubs and the support of my former team-mates," he added

Capped 51 times, Iordanov was instrumental in helping Bulgaria to the semi-finals of the 1994 World Cup in the United States. Sporting now have 20 days to appeal against the decision.

Sport
footballLIVE City face Stoke, while Warnock returns to Palace dugout
Arts and Entertainment
books
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
gadgets + techSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind the scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
News
i100
News
The slice of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding cake and the original box from 29 July 1981
newsPiece of Charles and Diana's wedding cake sold at auction in US
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone