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Barcelona net Edgar Davids

January 10, 2004 14:10 IST
Barcelona are poised to sign Dutch international Edgar Davids after Italian champions Juventus gave the Catalan club the go-ahead to talk terms with the 30-year-old midfielder.

"Juventus have agreed that Barcelona can begin negotiations with Edgar Davids with a view to a possible loan deal until the end of the season or a transfer...," the Primera Liga club announced on its website.

"If a loan deal is agreed both clubs will share the cost of the player's salary."

Club president Joan Laporta travelled to Turin to negotiate the deal with the Italian club and Barcelona officials will now begin direct talks with Davids, who is reported to be in Surinam attending the funeral of an aunt.

The former Ajax and AC Milan player has fallen out with the Serie A champions after failing to renew his contract, which expires at the end of the season.

Davids fits the bill of the combative player that Barca coach Frank Rijkaard wants to sign to bolster the Catalan club's midfield. Renowned for his uncompromising play, Davids first made his name when he played alongside Rijkaard in Ajax's 1995 European Cup-winning side.

In 2001 he tested positive for the steroid nandrolone after a Serie A match against Udinese, but maintained he was innocent of any doping offence and made a successful return to action after serving a four-month ban.

He was sent off in last season's Champions League quarter-final, second leg victory over Barcelona, but after serving a one-match ban he was instrumental in helping Juve to an impressive 3-1 victory over Real Madrid in the semi-final, second leg.

Juve went on to lose the final to AC Milan after a penalty shoot-out.

Barcelona are a disappointing 12th in the Spanish Primera Liga, 18 points behind leaders and bitter rivals Real, but they are only four adrift of Osasuna who occupy the final Champions League berth.

They were dealt a morale-sapping defeat by second division leaders Levante in the first leg of a third round King's Cup match on Thursday and club president Joan Laporta faces growing pressure to bring in new blood to strengthen the club.

Simon Baskett
Source:
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