Star trio set for Barca exit
Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola says Ronaldinho, Samuel Eto'o and Deco are surplus to requirements.
By Lucas Brown
Last Updated: 17/06/08 1:46pm
New Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola says Ronaldinho, Samuel Eto'o and Deco are surplus to requirements at Camp Nou.
Guardiola, who has replaced Frank Rijkaard as Barca boss, admits he is not currently planning on having the star trio in his squad next season.
Ronaldinho is being chased by Manchester City, and has also been linked with a move to Chelsea following the appointment of former Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari.
Portuguese midfielder Deco has also been tipped to join Scolari at Stamford Bridge, but is also being considered by new Internazionale boss Jose Mourinho.
Italian champions Inter and city rivals Milan have held an interest in Eto'o, with the Cameroon striker also a long-term target for several Premier League clubs.
Though Guardiola has not ruled out keeping the three attack-minded players next season, he is leaning towards creating a new-look squad.
Very high standard
"All the players in the squad last season appeared to me to be of a very high standard," Guardiola told reporters.
"With the technical secretary we are forming a new squad and Deco, Ronaldinho and Eto'o are not in our minds, but we will see how it goes.
"If Ronaldinho sincerely wants to be the player that he was again then he can be here. But the situation has deteriorated and the plan now is to create a strong squad."
Guardiola also revealed he will have the final say over who leaves or signs, despite technical secretary Txiki Beguiristain working away on potential arrivals.
"We are looking for an out-and-out striker that can score 60 goals a season," he joked. "Well, we want a No.9, we need one to complement Henry and Bojan.
"We want three up there competing and some of the names in the papers have been very good.
"We know clearly who we want to sign and the names of those that will leave, but I am not going to say those names.
"In pre-season, six or seven players will come up from the B team and see how they do. I am the one who decides which players come and go, that is down to me."