Barca: No van Bommel deal
By Lucas Brown. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Joan Laporta has stated that no deal has been struck with Mark van Bommel and that midfielder Gerard will be offered a new deal at Barcelona.
The Camp Nou president also looked ahead to the Clasico in El Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday and said that he feels that giants Real Madrid have taken on a new role.
Van Bommel has been strongly linked with a move to the Catalan giants in recent weeks and was thought to have been signed under the Bosman ruling with his PSV contract up in the summer.
However, Laporta denied that the club had already signed the Dutch midfielder, although he did recognise his talent.
"He is a very good player, but as yet there is nothing concrete," the Blaugrana supremo said, before going on to reveal that Gerard will be offered new terms, despite speculation that he was set to be offloaded.
"He has deserved the offer of a new deal," Laporta added.
Looking ahead to Sunday's monumental clash with Madrid, Laporta said that he was not worried about the tie and believes that Real's new tag as the underdogs should not be believed.
"I am not at all nervous," he continued. "I think the dynamic has changed in the last few years. I see that Madrid has taken on the dynamic as the victimised club.
"It is a strategy that you have to respect, but it will nevertheless still be a hard fought game.
Laporta believes that pressure on match officials is being created from the Spanish capital as the build-up reaches a crescendo.
"I never criticise referees," he said. "I do not see anything happening in bad faith, but there are elements in Madrid trying to create an added pressure to the match.
"I respect all the officials because they are all of a very high standard and they will be ready.
"Madrid are under greater pressure because they are playing at home and, if they lose, then they will be 12 points behind us and it will be very difficult for them to win the league."