Transfer news

Abidal planning Ligue 1 return

May 29, 2013
By Ian Holyman, France Correspondent

Eric Abidal's agent has revealed the France international defender hopes to return to Ligue 1 this summer with his Barcelona career drawing to a close.

Eric Abidal Barcelona
GettyImagesEric Abidal has played for France 61 times

Abidal, 33, is out of contract in Catalonia and, after six years at the Camp Nou, sees the French top flight as the ideal environment to see out the remainder of his career having forged his reputation at Lille and Lyon.

"He's mulling over his future, but today Ligue 1 is the solution which is favourite," Abidal's representative, David Venditelli, told Le Parisien.

The double Champions League winner, who underwent a successful liver transplant in March 2012, won three Ligue 1 titles at OL and, following the return of Steed Malbranque, 33, to the Stade de Gerland last summer, could also make a comeback to his former club.

If he were to do so, he would have to take a significant pay-cut with Lyon in need of €25 million this summer to balance their books. Venditelli, however, emphasised salary would not be Abidal's main concern regardless of which club comes calling.

"There's been no contact for the moment, but he won't make the financial aspect a priority."