Barca considering Tiko move

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BARCELONA are thinking over the possibility of paying the buy-out clause on Athletic Bilbao's midfield dynamo Tiko, with the player admitting he was looking for a better deal with the Basque side.

With Ismael Urzaiz looking for a massive pay day in his final large contract, Bilbao are struggling to keep up with their players' demands.

The Catalan side could decide to take advantage of the situation and with Tiko's contract running out in the summer of 2003, a fee of around £7.2 million would secure his services.

Spanish sources believe that Barcelona are looking for a midfielder with an eye for goal, which would certainly put into question Rivaldo's future at the club and it is a role that Tiko could certainly fulfil. 

Having lost Luis Enrique for most of the season, Barca coach Carles Rexach has tried to take the pressure off his strikers but has found it difficult to do so.

The future of Fabio Rochemback, Geovanni and Gerard at Barca is beginning to look precarious, whilst although Jesus Medina, Tiko's agent has had a number of meetings with the Bilbao hierarchy, nothing has been sorted.

However, Tiko is a team player and recently stated: "I am not a football player who plays by walking. I must work.

"My maxim is to train and that will not be put off by anything. The personal side of things is in the background, because the team is gambling too much and until the end of the season is reached, it is best not to make it personal."