Barcelona ponder Gilberto move

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The Independent Football

Arsenal's Brazilian midfielder Gilberto Silva has attracted the interest of Barcelona and could be on his way to the Spanish side in the summer.

Arsenal's Brazilian midfielder Gilberto Silva has attracted the interest of Barcelona and could be on his way to the Spanish side in the summer.

The World Cup winner has become an official target of the Catalans, who want a powerful midfielder and have put him on their wanted list beside Edgar Davids.

Barça confirmed they want Gilberto yesterday when their spokesman Sandro Rossell said: "He is a player who interests us. At the moment we are finding out how long he has on his contract, his price and his wages."

However, Arsenal hope Gilberto will stay, even though he is sharing a midfield slot with Edu at the moment.

Meanwhile, the Leeds United striker Alan Smith has laughed off the latest speculation linking him with a move away from Elland Road, but there are no guarantees from the new chairman, Gerald Krasner.

Krasner has made it clear since his £22m takeover of the club last Friday that the wage bill, which stood at £53m last year, has to be slashed if Leeds are to survive.

While many accept that Mark Viduka will be on his way out this summer due to the fact that he is the highest-paid player at the club, on £65,000 per week, a question mark hangs over Smith.

Krasner, when asked at Thursday night's fans' forum whether Smith is staying, replied: "He has previously indicated if we were relegated his international career would be taken into consideration, but I can't say yes and I can't say no."

The Leeds caretaker manager, Eddie Gray, said: "Alan doesn't take any notice anyway. He and I have a laugh about it because it happens nearly every day. It's something we can brush off."

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