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Puyol closing in on new Barca deal

Barcelona captain Carles Puyol says he is close to signing a new deal which will see him finish his career at the Catalan club.

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Puyol, 34, missed Euro 2012 with a knee injury but has returned to training this week, and also found time to discuss a one-year contract extension with an option for one further year with Barca sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta, according to Catalan sports paper Mundo Deportivo.

"It will not be difficult," Puyol said on Monday. "There will be no problems, we will speak again and that will be that. I intend to finish up here. I have always felt very valued by the club and its fans. I have the motivation to keep playing, which is the most important, and if the club want me I will stay."

Barcelona have been linked recently with defensive reinforcements, including Athletic's Javi Martinez and Liverpool's Daniel Agger. Puyol said that he would welcome a new arrival, but that 21-year-old Barca B centre-half Marc Bartra could step in if required.

"If the club decides to reinforce the position that's fine with me," he said. "The season is very long and we have had problems in the past. Bartra is a player with a big future, he will be important for Barca, but we should not put pressure on him."

The new La Liga season kicks off August 18, with the two Spanish Supercopa ties against rivals Real Madrid on August 23 and 30. 'Tarzan' said he was looking forward to another battle with Jose Mourinho's side on all fronts.

"The rivalry is healthy," he said. "We are going to fight to win, because it (Supercopa) is an important trophy and against our biggest rival. They are a very strong team which makes few mistakes. We will need to play very well."


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