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Barcelona targeting Spurs' midfielder Bale during summer transfer window

London, Fri, 20 Apr 2012 ANI

London, Apr 20(ANI): European champions Barcelona have set their eyes on Tottenham Hotspurs star Gareth Player as a long term replacement for left back Eric Abidal during the summer transfer window.

Abidal underwent a liver transplant last week, and Barcelona's club technical department, led by sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta has recommended manager Pep Guardiola to sign Bale after the end of the season.

Barcelona's chief scout, Albert Valentin, checked out Bale's performance for Tottenham in the 3-1 win at Fulham last November, when the Welshman set up Aaron Lennon for Spurs' second goal.

Barcelona's club executives are eager to cut down their expenditure this summer. The 50 million pound pay out on Cesc Fabregas and Alexis Sanchez last year, with a proportion of the 2012 summer funds remunerated to Arsenal and Udinese for those two signings ate up the available budget for the club.

Bale, who was 2011 Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year, is expected to be an expensive buy for the Catalan giants as he still has three years left on his contract.

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy has already warned off suitors in the club's plc accounts statement last year.

"Having quality players means they automatically attract attention from other clubs but I can assure you we have no reason to sell, and every intention of retaining, our key players. We shall simply not entertain any approaches for these players," The Telegraph quoted Levy's statement, as saying.

Another factor that could prove deterrent in acquiring Bale's services is the fact that recent English league imports to the Spanish La Liga have not delivered well. For instance Michael Owen and Jonathan Woodgate were both hugely disappointing at Real Madrid. (ANI)

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