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Espanyol 19:45 Barcelona

Barca in pole position for Chivu

By Tom Adams and Lucas Brown.   Last Updated: 27/06/07 8:52pm

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Barcelona appear to be in pole position to sign Roma defender Cristian Chivu, who has also attracted interest from Real Madrid and Internazionale.

The Romanian international has been linked with an exit from Stadio Olimpico this summer and Catalan giants Barca have tabled an offer in a bid to snare the highly-rated defender.

Roma sporting director Daniele Prade would not reveal how much Barca have offered, but confirmed the Giallorossi were considering the approach.

Prade also insisted that Serie A champions Inter had not firmed up their interest with a formal offer.

"The asking price of Roma for Chivu is set at ‚é¼18million (£12million)," Prade told gazzetta.it.

"The offer from the Spaniards is interesting but for reasons of privacy between the two clubs it is not possible to communicate how much.

"From Inter there has been no official offer."

Chivu's compatriot - and former Barca player - Gica Popescu claims the defender has told him that he wants to move to Camp Nou.

After a successful two-year spell at Barcelona, Popescu is well placed to give his opinion about the Catalan club, but he does not believe that Chivu needs much persuading.

"Chivu called me and asked my opinion," Popescu told Onda Cero Catalunya Radio. "I told him that he should go to Barca without any doubt.

"He then said that he wanted to go to Barcelona.

"If he has to choose, and all his options are similar, then he would move to Barca without any questions.

"He wants to join them because he told me that they are his favourite club in the whole of Europe.

"I do not think that Chivu will be too concerned about the money, but if Barca's offer is close to Inter's then I think he will choose Barca even it means earning slightly less.

"If we are talking about a great difference then things may change, but I do not think that the difference is that great."

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