Adebayor favours move to Barcelona

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The Independent Football

Emmanuel Adebayor has cast further doubt on his Arsenal future after revealing his interest in a move to Barcelona.

Milan are also pursuing the striker, who has given conflicting statements about his immediate future over recent days. On Friday he insisted he would be staying with the Gunners, before minutes later hinting that in in showdown talks with manager Arsène Wenger next week he would push for a move to San Siro.

On Saturday, however, Wenger insisted he would not be seeing Adebayor – who scored 30 goals last season – having already held talks with him. Now the 24-year-old has further muddied the waters by revealing Barça's interest, which he would favour if the north London club do not meet his demands for a pay rise to a reported £120,000 a week

He said: "Milan are a big club but the fact they are not playing in the Champions League next season is less of a challenge. Barcelona have made a good financial offer and there is also the chance to play alongside great players. Yes, I am still under contract to Arsenal but it's up to the directors to satisfy my demands or I'll leave.

"If my good form of last season has increased my value, my employers have to take account of that.

"I have to prepare for my retirement. Even if you are not scoring fine goals and you have money, you can enjoy a happy retirement. The time for preparing for that moment is now."

The former Monaco striker also believes he should be given parity with his former Arsenal team-mate Thierry Henry.

"People ask if I am asking for the same salary as Henry. That is not necessarily the question. But I am being considered a worthy replacement for Henry while not deserving his salary. The question lies on this level."

Wenger also said on Saturday that he expected Spain's use of five-man midfields to be one of the legacies of this year's European Championship.

When striker David Villa went off injured after 35 minutes of Spain's semi-final victory over Russia, Cesc Fabregas, who has played under Wenger at Arsenal for almost five years since joining as a 16-year-old from Barcelona, went on as an extra midfielder and helped his country to a 3-0 victory – and his club manager is not remotely surprised.

"Most of the teams who came to the tournament as 4-4-2 finished as 4-5-1, including Germany," Wenger said. "Teams suffered too much in midfield. Even without Fabregas, Spain played 4-5-1 defensively as Villa dropped back, then switched to two playing up front in attack.

"Spain have an abundance of midfield talent, all short players who are technically very subtle. Sometimes you have to look twice to see who is doing stuff as they look alike and are similarly talented technically.

"But Fabregas has vision in depth and I believe it is those players who make you win. He has that forward vision and they have a more vertical game when he plays."

* Croatia's football federation has been fined for the racist behaviour of the national team's supporters at their quarter-final match against Turkey, Uefa said on Saturday. "Croatian fans were guilty of displaying a racist banner and showing racist conduct at the match," Uefa said in a statement on its website. Turkey won the 20 June game at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna 3-1 on penalties after a dramatic 1-1 draw, with both goals scored in the dying minutes of extra time. Croatia were subsequently fined nearly €12,500 (£9,870). They have three days after they receive the reasons for the decision to lodge an appeal, Uefa added.

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