Spanish rivals spur Barça pursuit of Gudjohnsen

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The Independent Football

Barcelona are facing competition from Valencia and another Spanish club, possibly Atletico Madrid, for Eidur Gudjohnsen. Chelsea accept that the 27-year-old Icelander will leave this summer but want around £10m for him.

Barça, who remain favourites to sign Gudjohnsen, are still balking at that fee and have told Chelsea that they will not pay more than €10m (£7.1m). However, the interest from the other La Liga clubs may spur them into action. In addition, Barcelona have quashed speculation concerning a swap deal involving Deco and the Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard.

If the Premiership champions secure the fee they want for Gudjohnsen, it would represent a healthy return for a player who joined them six seasons ago but has grown increasingly frustrated at his lack of opportunities.

Chelsea are also set to bank an impressive return for Robert Huth, with Middlesbrough having agreed to pay £6m for the 21-year-old German international who is now seeking regular first-team football. Personal terms have also been settled and the deal should go through as early as today.

Chelsea are also prepared to sell Carlton Cole to Tottenham Hotspur but no fee has been agreed, while the only avenue for Shaun Wright-Phillips to leave the club, if he wants to, is to secure a permanent deal. Chelsea would listen to offers but expect to recoup as much as £20m for the winger, which would scare off any potential suitors.

It appears that Damien Duff will stay with Chelsea likely to agree to his request for an extended contract.