Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

I Want to Stay at Barca

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

I Want to Stay at Barca

Article excerpt

Byline: Eric Paylor

Boro target Patrick Kluivert wants to stay at Barcelona - for the time being.

But his six-year spell as Barca's No 9 looks set to end, whether he moves to Teesside or not.

Barca boss Frank Rijkaard is planning a massive transfer plunge during the summer for Juventus striker David Trezeguet.

Rijkaard wants to pair Trezeguet with the Argentine Javier Saviola, who has enjoyed a tremendous season at the Nou Camp.

It will further weaken the position of Kluivert, who has been on the bench for much of the second half of this season.

In fact the Dutchman did not come on until 15 minutes from the end of Sunday's 2-1 defeat at Real Zaragoza in Barca's final game.

Kluivert said: "It's a pity we finished the season with a disappointing defeat like that, because we've really played a great second half to the season and shown what a great club Barca is."

When asked about his future at the Nou Camp, he added: "I mean to stay here at Barca."

Boro - and possibly Rijkaard - will test that resolve over the course of the summer.

Kluivert has a clause in his contract which allows him to move on for a modest fee of pounds 1m, and Boro are already well aware of the financial package they would need to put together if they were to try to sign the 27-year-old forward.

Boro would seem to be prepared to try to put together such a package, which suggests that the push for Kluivert has been given the green light.

Kluivert is still a great player, and a regular Dutch international, but the time may have come for him to move on after six successful years at the Nou Camp.

This season has been his least productive for Barca, scoring ten league goals and another two in the cups.

Kluivert was quoted during the season as saying that he would like to test himself in the Premiership. …

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