Xavi close to Barca agreement

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The Independent Football

Barcelona midfielder Xavi has paved the way for a resolution is his contract negotiations with the club after admitting he wants to end his career at the Camp Nou.

The 28-year-old Spain international has been locked in talks over a new deal since the summer, but has yet to put pen to paper with his boyhood club.

The length of the midfielder's new contract is believed to be the stumbling point with Xavi hoping for a five-year deal, while the club are only willing to offer four.

But the fans' favourite has taken a major step towards finding a resolution after pledging his future to the club and ending any rumours of a possible move away to Manchester United or AC Milan.

"It's clear that my dream would be to end my career at the club of my life,” he claimed.

"An agreement is very close, things are going very well.

"They want me to stay and I want to stay. I think that it's only a question of days before an agreement is reached."

Meanwhile, AC Milan managing director Adriano Galliani has laughed off reports suggesting Real Madrid are hoping to lure Carlo Ancelotti to Spain.

Reports suggested Madrid officials had made the Italian tactician their number one choice to replace under-pressure coach Bernd Schuster.

But Galliani has played down claims that the Spanish club's sporting director Pedrag Mijatovic has already sounded him out about the possibility of securing the services of Ancelotti.

"Real are after Ancelotti?" he said. "I talked about it this very night with Mijatovic, because both him and president Ramon Calderon are friends.

"Ancelotti is tied to Milan and Real Madrid have never asked me for him."

Finally, Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo has vowed to abide by the Court of Aribitration for Sport (CAS) ruling which will see them play one Champions League behind closed doors.

Atletico will take on PSV Eindhoven next week in an empty stadium after CAS halved UEFA's original two-game ban and also reduced their 150,000 euro fine by half.

UEFA's initial punishment related to crowd incidents during last month's Champions League match against Marseille at the Vicente Calderon.

But despite failing to completely overturn the ban, Cerezo is pleased that the court cleared the club and its fans of racist and xenophobic abuse towards the Marseille players.

"We had hoped that our case would see us cleared of these accusations, but there can be no doubts about the outcome now,” he said.

"But we have been cleared of racist and xenophobic behaviour within the stadium and that was the first thing that we were accused of.”