Transfer news

Barcelona 'set sights on OM's Valbuena'

July 15, 2013
By Ian Holyman, France Correspondent

Barcelona are reportedly targeting Marseille midfielder Mathieu Valbuena as the man they want to fill the gap left by Thiago Alcantara's departure to Bayern Munich.

Valbuena calm over Marseille contract talks
PA PhotosValbuena would be likely to cost around €15 million

Alcantara completed his move to European champions Bayern on Sunday – and Spanish newspaper Sport said that meant it was likely Barca would step up their chase for 28-year-old Valbuena, thought to be valued at around €15 million.

France international Valbuena - who contributed a Ligue 1-high 12 assists as Marseille finished runners-up to Paris Saint-Germain last season - has previously said he is happy at the Stade Velodrome, where he is under contract until 2016.

However, when asked by Le Parisien about his future last week, Valbuena refused to comment.

His agent, Christophe Hutteau, told that his client - who has said he used to support Barca as a child and watched their games with his Spanish father - was highly regarded at the Camp Nou.

"I'm only confirming I talked to [Barca sporting director] Andoni Zubizarreta about Mathieu a little while ago,” he said.

“He considers, just like his technical staff, that he's a very good player. They all like him. The sporting director told me a number of attacking players were going to leave the club."

But he added: "Mathieu is at OM for the moment, and feels good there."