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Barcelona confirm $51m Ronaldinho offer from Man City

SoccerNews in English Premier League, La Liga, Serie A 15 Jul 2008

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Barcelona has received a 32-million-euro (51-million-dollar) offer for two-time world player of the year Ronaldinho from English Premiership side Manchester City, the Spanish club's president Joan Laporta has said.

The 28-year-old Brazilian – who is also the subject of a 15-million-euro offer from AC Milan – will leave the club “with full honours”, Laporta told Catalunya Radio, adding the club had taken into account “the interests of the player as well as those of Barcelona” when deciding on whether he should go or not.

Laporta announced the offer from Manchester City, but did not say if the club would be the final destination for the player who was deemed surplus to requirements by Barcelona's new coach Josep Guardiola following a dip in form last season.

The player and his agent and brother Roberto de Assis flew back Monday from Brazil to Barcelona, where they held talks on his future with Guardiola, Barcelona technical secretary Txiki Beguiristain and director of football Raul Sanllehi, the club said in a statement on its website.

“The two sides agreed to allow two or three days to finalise the transfer of the player to one of the clubs which have shown an interest in signing him. If the operation cannot be confirmed in this time the player will rejoin squad training,” the statement said.

City have refused to give up on buying Ronaldinho and emailed Barcelona their offer on Sunday, according to Britain's Daily Mail.

City are also prepared to pay the 28-year-old 100,000 pounds more a week than Italian giants AC Milan have offered.

The club also believe the fact they have two other Brazilians at the club in his close friend Jo – who they broke their transfer record for earlier in the close season laying out 18 million for him – and Elano could prove persuasive.

“They are refusing to be bullied out of it by Milan,” a source told the Mail, who also claimed that sports kit manufacturer Nike would finance part of the deal.

“You have to admire their daring and their audacity. They still have hope that this could be possible.”

However, Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport also reported in its Monday edition that Barcelona, AC Milan and Ronaldinho – who scored 70 goals in 145 appearances for Barca – are expected to meet in Barcelona to finalise his move to Italy.

Initially it was thought the player – who has not played since March 9 because of injury – was reluctant to be present at the summit following the Spanish club's refusal to release him for the Olympic Games in Beijing.

One man confident that the deal will be concluded in time for Ronaldinho to be present at Milan's opening training session on July 16 is Ernesto Bronzetti, the Italian club's Spanish consultant.

“I spoke with Ronaldinho as he was leaving Porto Alegre for Barcelona and he told me I want to play for you',” Bronzetti told the newspaper.

The consultant also suggested that the Italians will be happy to release the World Cup winner for Brazil's attempt to win their first Olympic gold.

“I believe that Galliani has already said yes to him.”

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