Transfer news and speculation, 28 May
Wednesday 28 May 2008
Barcelona have agreed to sign the defender Gerard Pique from Manchester United on a four-year contract, the Primera Liga club said yesterday. The former Barça youth team centre back left for United in 2004 and played the 2006-7 season on loan with Real Zaragoza. He moves for a reported fee of around €5m (£3.9m). The 21-year-old is the club's second close-season signing after the Mali midfielder Seydou Keita, who joined from Seville on Monday. Barcelona finished third in the league earlier this month. "It's a dream to return to Barcelona. When I left I thought it would be very complicated to return and now the dream has come true," Pique said.
Keegan begins Emana talks
Newcastle United are trailing the Cameroon international midfielder Achille Emana as manager Kevin Keegan prepares to start his recruitment drive. The 25-year-old is contracted to French club Toulouse until 2011, but is said to be looking for a new challenge after a disappointing league campaign which saw his side finish 17th a year after qualifying for the Champions League. It is understood the Magpies have opened talks with the player and his advisor, Sébastien Thiery, has indicated that St James' Park is a destination he would seriously consider.
Dailly set to sign new Ibrox deal
Rangers defender Christian Dailly is set to sign a new one-year deal. The 34-year-old arrived from West Ham in January and helped the club to CIS Insurance Cup and Scottish Cup final victories as well as a Uefa Cup final appearance. Dailly said: "I have spoken to the manager [Walter Smith] and we have more or less agreed to do it again next season."
Nasri interested in Gunners move
Marseilles playmaker Samir Nasri is to leave the Ligue 1 club and is interested in a move to Arsenal, his agent confirmed yesterday. "He will leave OM. It will be done in the coming days," Jean-Pierre Bernes said. "Arsenal's offer has caught his interest from a sporting point of view. I think that in his career, it is something very interesting."
Rocha wants return to Portugal
Tottenham defender Ricardo Rocha would welcome a return to Portugal this summer to rejoin Benfica. The 29-year-old arrived at White Hart Lane in the middle of last season but has not established himself as a regular under head coach Juande Ramos, or predecessor Martin Jol. "Benfica is the club of my heart, always was and always will be," Rocha said.
* Yesterday's completed moves: Gerard Pique (Manchester United) to Barcelona; Undis, Mark Lynch (unattached) to Rotherham United; Signed, Keigan Parker (Blackpool) to Huddersfield; Free, Garry Thompson (Morecambe) to Scunthorpe; Free
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