Rijkaard set for new deal
By Lucas Brown
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Frank Rijkaard has confirmed that he will sign a new contract with Barcelona.Frank Rijkaard has confirmed that he will sign a new contract with Barcelona after the club's forthcoming tour of Asia.
The verbal agreement was announced by president Joan Laporta after he arrived in Denmark for Barca's final game there, before they set off for Japan and China.
After leading the team to their first league title in six seasons last term, the Catalan giants were keen to cement Rijkaard's future at Camp Nou.
"I will sign after we come back from our tour of Asia," Rijkaard explained. "It is true what the president has said and I am proud to be employed by this club, I am thankful every day.
"When there is such unity it makes decisions like this much easier."
The former Milan ace will sign a deal that will keep him at the club until June 2009, as Barca continue their policy of signing up key men to long-term deals.
Javier Saviola and Rustu Recber are due to join up with the squad for their Far East trip, but the Barca coach insists that neither have a hope of breaking into his side next season.
"We will welcome them back because they are part of the club, but it is pointless discussing if they will play in the team," he explained.
"This situation is not so much a problem for the club, but more a problem for the players."
Benfica have registered their interest in taking Saviola on loan, but the Argentine striker will have to reduce his wage demands of around é¼ 5 million a year.