Barca bid for Tiago hits buffers

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THE prospects of Barcelona signing Benfica midfielder Tiago seem to have all but disappeared after the Catalan giants refused to let Gerard move in the opposite direction.

Benfica did not want to lose their gifted 22-year-old midfielder, but boss Jose Antonio Camacho had indicated he would have been willing to do business if former Valencia star Gerard had been included as part of the deal.

However, Barca coach Frank Rijkaard insisted that the Spanish international was still part of his first-team plans and blocked the counterbid.

The Camp Nou outfit did offer Camacho his choice of seven fringe players, Roberto Bonano, Juan Roman Riquelme, Dani, Alfonso, Patrik Andersson, Roberto Trashorras and Haruna Babangida, but the former Spanish national team chief was not interested in any of the selection.

The two clubs were thought to be working on a deal that would have seen Barca pay ‚é¼5 million plus three players (one of which was to be Gerard) for Tiago.

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