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Barcelona turn to 35m United target Villa as Chelsea lead race for Ribery

02 Mar 2010 14:19:18

Barcelona turn to 35m United target Villa as Chelsea lead race for Ribery

Barcelona are ready to enter a summer scrap with Manchester United for Valencia hot shot David Villa. The European champions have turned to the Spain striker amid fears that Chelsea are leading the race for Franck Ribery. Barca are determined to land a left-sided forward this summer after failing in bids for Robinho and David Silva last summer and had identified Bayern Munich star Ribery as the perfect candidate. Super seven: David Villa has been in fine form for Valencia However, there a deal for the France international is fraught with difficulty because of the strong interest from Real Madrid and Chelsea, while there is growing confidence in Bavaria that Ribery can be talked into signing an extension to his current contract. WORLD FOOTBALL BLOG: Read about Ribery's return in our brand new blogInstead of once again turning to Silva, Barca see it as an ideal time to try again for long-term target Villa, who they see as someone who can fill in on the left and take a central role when Zlatan Ibrahimovic is unavailable. However, the 28-year-old is also hugely admired by Sir Alex Ferguson and United are preparing a £35million summer bid. United scouts reportedly watched Villa score twice against Getafe and also checked out Silva earlier this month. Valencia saw off suitors last summer by demanding around £50m for their star man, but financial worries could force them to relent and Villa has opened the door for a move to the Premier League after this summer's World Cup. Wing wizard: Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery (left) is in demand The pan-European pursuit of Ribery is being played out at the general assembly of the European Club Association.   Madrid president Florentino Perez is believed to have opened talks with Bayern officials about a summer move for the 26-year-old, while Barca have asked to be kept informed. But Barca know funds will be tight if they can pull of a deal for Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas this summer and are not prepared to pay more than about £25m for Ribery. Madrid are also reluctant to pay over the odds for a player who has suffered injury setbacks this season and who will have just 12 months left on his contract at the end of season, which leaves Chelsea in a strong position to make a move.  Chelsea fight Manchester United for £15m Benfica defender David LuizManchester United back on trail of soaring Di Maria of BenficaReal Madrid bid to beat Chelsea and Manchester United with Ribery talksCHELSEA FC


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