Rijkaard to leave Barca in summer, says colleague

May 1, 2008

MADRID, May 1 (Reuters) - Frank Rijkaard will leave Barcelona at the end of the season, a close colleague of the Dutch coach said on Thursday.

Jil van Eyle, who works with Rijkaard in a fundraising initiative known as 'teaming', said he was looking for another sponsor because of his imminent departure from the club.

'I work for Frank Rijkaard who has given me a lot of time to work on 'teaming' but as Frank will be leaving FC Barcelona in a few weeks my work with him will come to an end,' Van Eyle said on his webpage (http://blog.teaming.info/) on Thursday.

'He said he will always support me with his name and image, but logically I will now have to look for another sponsor....'

Rijkaard took charge at Barcelona in 2003 and led the team to back-to-back league titles in 2005 and 2006 and victory in the Champions League, but the team have failed to win any further trophies in the past two seasons.

Local media have taken it for granted that Rijkaard, who is under contract until 2009, will leave the club at the end of the season with ex-Barcelona player Pep Guardiola and former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho among the names linked with the post.

Barca had no official comment on Rijkaard's future.