Barca could not afford Prem duo

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BARCELONA technical secretary Tkixi Begiristain has revealed that the club were priced out of moves for both Harry Kewell and Cristiano Ronaldo by the players' wage demands.

The former Camp Nou idol also went on to declare that it would be at least two years before new Barca boss Frank Rijkaard could mould the squad he desired.

Responding to criticism of the current squad from Johan Cruyff, Begiristain admitted that the club's difficult financial predicament had scuppered moves for several summer targets, but insisted the Catalan giants were now headed in the right direction under the 'project' ushered in by new president Joan Laporta's regime.

"Although we could afford their (Kewell and Ronaldo) transfer fees, the salaries we could not," acknowledged Begiristain.

"He (Cruyff) has seen some gaps (in the squad) that we have also seen, but have not spoken about publicly.

"The squad is being adjusted to try and help the project grow."