GERARD 'GOING HOME' FOR £13.4 MILLION
By Patrick Goss
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Gerard, whose late surge in form in Valencia's impressive Champions League campaign forced him into the Spanish Euro 2000 squad, used to play for the Catalan club as a youth before moving to Barca's Primera Liga rivals.
New Barcelona president Joan Gaspart said: "Gerard returns home, we have bought him," finally, it seems, drawing an end to a deal that faltered yesterday because of the minor details of the transfer.
Gerard becomes the most expensive Spanish player ever, at the tender age of 21 - and will go some way to appease the vociferous Catalan fans, angered by the sale of favoured son Luis Figo to rivals Real Madrid.
Barcelona have also been linked to Manchester United stars David Beckham and Ryan Giggs - although the constant statements by the English Champions that they will not part with either star appears to have finally curtailed the Spanish club's interest.
Betis star Finidi George is also a target for Gaspart, with the Nigerian international keen to move away from the relegated giants back into the top-flight.