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Sunday 17 December 2017

Barca give nothing away

Chile's Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring a goal against Brazil during their 2014 World Cup round of 16 game at the Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte June 28, 2014. Picture: Reuters/Leonhard Foeger.
Chile's Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring a goal against Brazil during their 2014 World Cup round of 16 game at the Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte June 28, 2014. Picture: Reuters/Leonhard Foeger.

BARCELONA were giving little away about the prospective transfers of Luis Suarez and Alexis Sanchez as they unveiled new goalkeeper Claudio Bravo at the Nou Camp yesterday.

Barca have been in talks with Liverpool regarding Suarez, with media reports suggesting a fee in the region of £62million has been agreed for the Uruguay international, who is banned from all football related activity for four months after biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup, but is free to complete a medical in order to move clubs.

Chile winger Sanchez, meanwhile, is being heavily linked with a move away from Barca with Liverpool and their Premier League rivals Arsenal both reportedly in the hunt for the 25-year-old.

However, sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta, speaking at the presentation of Sanchez's international colleague Bravo, remained tight-lipped about the developments surrounding both possible transfers.

He said: "We are working towards building the best squad possible before the transfer window shuts and it's positive that people (from the club) are travelling (in order to sign players) but it's important that we only communicate official deals. When we have reached one, we will announce it."

Announce

When asked about Sanchez, Zubizarreta added: "There is nothing new to report. We will announce deals when they are done. Right now, we have two Chileans in our squad."

The other of those two Chileans, Bravo, said that Sanchez encouraged him to move to the Catalan club, but would not reveal whether the striker said he would be his team-mate next season.

"He told me that Barca was a marvellous club and that I had to take this opportunity and enjoy it," said Bravo. "But we didn't talk about being at Barcelona together, we were only focused on the World Cup."

The 31-year-old Bravo signed from Real Sociedad last month while still playing for Chile in the World Cup, in a four-year deal that the Catalan club confirmed was worth 12million euros.

Bravo's transfer followed the arrival of 22-year-old German keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen at the end of May from Borussia Monchengladbach, also for a fee believed to be in the region of 12million euros.

The club have brought in the duo to compensate for the departure of long-standing number one Victor Valdes and second-choice Jose Pinto.

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