Racing to snap up Barca starlet
By Mark Kendall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Barcelona youngster Damia Abella will join Racing Santander on loan in January.Barcelona youngster Damia Abella will quit Camp Nou during the January transfer window to join Racing Santander on loan.
The loan will last for a year and a half meaning the 23-year-old right back, who can also operate in midfield, will not return to Barca until the summer of 2007.
Abella was also offered the opportunity to move to Getafe, again on loan, but opted to try and expand his experience with a stint at Racing.
A product of Barca's youth system, the defender broke into the first-team picture at Camp Nou a couple of seasons ago but has struggled to claim regular playing time.
A hernia injury has disrupted his progress this term although he has now fully recovered from that complaint.
However, with Juliano Belletti and Olegeur ahead of him in Barca boss Frank Rijkaard's pecking order, and Gabri and Carles Puyol also able to play at right back, Abella has decided it is in his best interests to move on and garner first-team experience elsewhere.
Racing are confident he will strengthen their right flank with summer signings like Fernando Marques and Wilfried Dalmat having failed to impress in the first half of the season.
Abella will become the Cantabrian outfit's third signing of the winter transfer window with deals for Argentine defender Ezequiel Garay and Chilean striker Mauricio Pinilla already having been finalised.
Racing are also hoping to conclude the loan signing of Sevilla's experienced centre back Pablo Alfaro in the near future.