Pique set for Barca return

Defender ready to go home

Pique: Previous experience in Spain

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Barcelona are close to agreeing a deal to take Gerard Pique back to Camp Nou.

The defender left the Primera Division giants as a teenager when he was snapped up by Manchester United.

However, he has struggled to hold down a first-team spot at Old Trafford and would welcome the opportunity of regular football back in his homeland.

Pique impressed during a year-long loan spell at Real Zaragoza in 2006, proving that he is more than capable of meeting the demands of the Spanish top flight.

Barcelona are keen to launch a summer rebuilding programme after ending the 2007/08 season empty handed and see Pique as a long-term option at the heart of their defence.

"Things are at an advanced stage," Barca's sporting director Txiki Bergiristain confirmed.

"I can't deny that he is one of the players we're interested in, but he is involved in the Champions League final so things are on hold."