GASPART INSISTS RIQUELME DEAL IS DELAYED
By Luis Murillo
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Riquelme's seems to be one of the few transfer sagas not to be eventually sorted out this season, although hopes had been raised by a meeting between Barca representative Leopoldo Hinjos and Boca Juniors supremo Mauricio Macri. However, Gaspart stuck to the line he had been using since mid-June, by saying there was a 'long-term delay'.
Barcelona are hampered by the fact they already have four non-European Union players in Javier Saviola, Fabio Rochemback, Geovanni and Rivaldo.
There are doubts over which of the four will achieve Spanish nationality before January, which saw Barca asking over Riquelme's potential dual nationality.
The price Barca will have to pay, around £15 million is also a major stumbling block, especially if the Catalan side turn around and loan the player back to Boca.
It would appear this is where the confusion lies, as Riquelme could become a Barcelona player this summer, although he will not play in Spain.
Speaking about the Rivaldo situation, where the Brazilian revealed that the club had not honoured their part of a wage agreement, Gaspart said: "I'm happy. Everything that was negotiated has been closed. It was delayed so long because we were looking, inside the law, the best formula to pay the deal."
When asked about potential sales, with Francesc Arnau, Richard Dutruel, Alfonso and Boudewijn Zenden all rumoured to be leaving, Gaspart said: "Maybe in the next few days there will be some exits."