Tottenham send Baldini to negotiate Soldado deal with Valencia

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Puyol targets Thiago Silva pairing at Barcelona

The 35-year-old believes the PSG defender would be a great signing for the club, as he says injuries last year have showed a need to strengthen in that position

Carles Puyol says Paris Saint-Germain centre-back Thiago Silva could be the man to help him shore up Barcelona’s backline.

The Brazil defender, 28, who moved to the French capital last season from AC Milan, has been heavily linked with the Blaugrana despite having four years remaining on his contract.

The Catalan giants suffered from a dearth of quality in the heart of their defence in the last campaign following injuries and suspensions to key players, but Puyol. 35. believes some of these issues can be amended with the Brazilian in the team.

“The centre of defence is a position hit hard by injuries,” he told reporters.

“Thiago is one of the best centre-backs in the world and I think he would adapt well to Barcelona.”

Puyol is saddened by the departure of Tito Vilanova, but knows the club must move on, providing his opinion on potential replacements, including Celta Vigo coach Luis Enrique and Newell’s Old Boys boss Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino.

“We have a very specific way of playing, and the coaches linked to this job will come in and follow that style. We all want the best for the club, so I trust whoever they bring in will be fine,” he added.

“I have a good relationship with Luis Enrique and I have trained with him before. He is one of the most accomplished names out there, but I like all the others as well.

“I know Tata is a good coach and I really like his style of play. He is very complex and tough on his players. He does not let them train easily.”

Lyon rule out Gourcuff exit

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Thiago bids farewell to Barcelona in emotional open letter

The Spain Under-21 midfielder posted a note on his Twitter account in which he praised his former club and its fans, while he also had a message for former mentor Tito Vilanova

Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara has bid goodbye to former club Barcelona in an open letter posted on Twitter.

The Spain international completed his move to the Bundesliga champions after turning down the chance to move to Manchester United, but he admitted that it was hard for him to leave Camp Nou.

“I leave the house that I spent 14 years at…it was a difficult decision, tough. Eras come to an end and there are changes now ahead,” he stated.

“Today I have the same enthusiasm for playing football as when I arrived at Barcelona as a child. And that ambition, enthusiasm and those sporting circumstances have led me to Munich.

“In Barcelona I grew as a player and as a person. It sounds clichéd, and it is what is said in these situations, but it is really the case. I want to thank each and every person at the club. Barca and the people there have given me everything, I have grown, matured and have learned from both good and bad situations.

“Team-mates, technical staff, employees, fans, above all, you, the fans…who are great for this club in victory and defeat. To all of you, thank you for the years. Thanks to those who supported me in the more difficult moments. All of the love I received I will take with me to this new adventure.”

The 22-year-old also had a message for Tito Vilanova, who stepped down as Barca manager on Friday to continue his fight against cancer.

“And you, Tito, a fighter…as we told Abi [Eric Abidal]: ‘Stones in the road? Keep them all, one day you will build a castle’. No doubt you will continue to move forward.

“A grateful hug and long live Barca!”

Thiago had earlier spoken to the press in Munich, refuting suggestions that he may suffer from a culture shock in his early days in Germany.

“On the contrary, things here are pretty similar to Barcelona,” he was quoted as saying by TZ.

“I had some amazing players around me right from the start at Barcelona and that’s the case here as well. That makes things very easy for a new and young player like me.”

Napoli to bid more than €35m for Arsenal target Higuain

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