Barca candidates insist Becks has gone
By Graeme Bailey
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The leading candidate for the Camp Nou presidency Joan Laporta has struck a deal with Manchester United for the £30 million and aims to bring Beckham to Barcelona - should he win Sunday's election.
However, both Jaume Llaurado and Jospe Martinez-Rovira say that Beckham has already decided to move to Madrid.
"Joan will not have Beckham," said Llaurado, as the six candidates gathered for a last televised debate.
"He has already signed a pre-contract with Real Madrid on May 12, I say this now so that we do not have to keep explaining these fairy tales."
Martinez-Rovira added: "This is certain, we already knew he was looking there for a house and a school for his children."
The race for the surpemo's role at Barca is now in overdrive as each candidate looks to try and prise as many votes as he can out of the membership.
Laporta, the favourite, was getting a great deal of criticism from his opponents and another runner Lluis Bassat asked: "Joan, what will happen if Beckham does not come? Will you give the votes back?"
Laporta denied that Beckham had already decided his future and was adamant that he would still be coming to Barca, should he win the election.
"We are negotiating and the offer with United is conditional that I do win and the player agrees to the move."
Beckham, though, is not the only footballing star being used a election material - with Cristian Chivu, Christian Vieri, Roy Makaay, Alessandro D'Alessandro, Lucio, Deco and Ajax coach Ronald Koeman all being thrown into the mix.
Llaurado, who claimed Beckham had signed for Madrid, said that he had already reached agreement with Chivu, Vieri and an unnamed Real star.
"We have a agreed a deal with a first class defender in Cristian Chivu and we have agreement with Vieri of Inter and also a player of Real with which we will do major damage to them," he stated.
For his part Martinez-Rovira has only struck one deal so far, that with PSV Eindhoven for the possible arrival of Mateja Kezman.
Josep Minguella looks to have been one of the busier candidates with Lucio, Deco, Makaay and D'Alessandro all in his sights if he wins the election.
Beckham, though, has been the main talking point of possible transfers - but the coaching department is also up for debate and a number of the candidates have targeted Ronald Koeman.
Llaurado and Bassat both admit that they have spoken with Ajax about Koeman, but the Dutch giants have so far rebuffed their advances.
"They said no in the last 48 hours," said Llaurado.
"Ronald is one of three trainers we have in our portfolio."
Laporta also said that Koeman could fit into his administration, should he come to power.
"We have already formed our sporting structure and Koeman could fit the bill perfectly, but he has a year left on his contract," said Laporta.
"I do not believe Ajax are too interested in letting him go, perhaps it would be better if we waited a year before going for him."
Martinez-Rovira added: "I have been in contact with Ajax for the last 12 months and his contract is a problem, but I will be in touch on Monday with them if I win."
The final candidate Jordi Majo also expressed a liking for Koeman.
So the Barca elections close on Sunday and most of the footballing world will be waiting to see who gains power and what the consequences will be.