The clubs had reached an initial agreement for the transfer of the 26- year-old Vitor Baia, who will captain Portugal at the European Championship. It is understood that his earnings at Barcelona will be pounds 8.7m over four seasons.
Ajax, the Dutch champions, are close to finalising the transfer of the Nigerian international winger Tijjani Babangida from Roda JC Kerkrade.
Babangida, 22, began his career with the Niger Tornadoes before joining VVV Venlo in the Netherlands and signing for Roda in 1993. He has played 10 games for his country. The small, but lightning fast right winger, who scored seven goals for Roda this season, is seen as a possible replacement for fellow countryman Finidi George, who may be the latest Ajax player to seek a move.
The former European champions have already lost both the full-back Michael Reiziger and the midfielder Edgar Davids to Milan next season, while the Nigerian pair of George and Nwankwo Kanu have still to decide whether to sign new contracts or leave.
Incomings at Ajax next season are the Sparta Rotterdam defender John Veldman, a late addition to the Dutch squad for Euro 96, and the Dutch international midfielder Richard Witschge from Bordeaux.
Luis Oliveira, the 27-year-old Brazilian-born Belgian international forward, is leaving Cagliari to take up a four-year contract with Fiorentina.
Lee Sharpe has insisted that he was staying at Old Trafford. The former England winger was dropped for Manchester United's closing Premiership game at Middlesbrough and also missed the FA Cup final against Liverpool.
"It was a massive blow for me to be left out of the side when we clinched the title," Sharpe said. "It was something which never really sunk in until after the final whistle, but I have had disappointments before and I am sure that I will bounce back."
The 24-year-old added: "I will have a good break and then see what happens in pre-season. I am getting used to picking up the paper and finding that I am linked with a couple of other clubs but it is just part and parcel of what goes on."Reuse content