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1:00 AM UTC Feb 24, 2017
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Transfer Rater: Walker to Barca, Benzema to PSG

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Riquelme rules out Boca return

Argentine midfielder Juan Roman Riquelme denies he will backflip on his decision to leave Boca Juniors after being spotted at the club's training ground.

Riquelme previously insisted he would never join Boca again
Riquelme has not played a minute of football since Boca's Copa Libertadores final disappointment in July

Riquelme, 34, announced his departure from Boca in July but was in attendance for the side's first day of pre-season training on Saturday.

The former Barcelona player was rumoured to be interested in a move back to Buenos Aires after his former mentor Carlos Bianchi was appointed as the Xeneizes' new coach.

But Riquelme insists he was merely a spectator at the session.

"I thought it was normal to come to the club on the first day of pre-season training, but I am just here to communicate that I cannot change my decision," he said. "I spoke with the president and with Carlos Bianchi, I told them I had made a decision and that it was too complicated to change it.

"I love this club and Boca will always be my club, but I am a man of my word."

Riquelme had earlier suggested he was close to following Bianchi to MLS side Chivas USA before the 63-year-old took the top job at Boca.

"Ten days before Carlos was announced [as coach] of Boca, he called me to his home because he wanted me to go with him to Chivas in Los Angeles," Riquelme told Argentine TV station TyC Sports. "We were planning to go together to Los Angeles and I told him that I would go with him to Los Angeles without any problem and then ten days later he was announced with Boca."

Riquelme has been strongly linked with a move to Brazilian side Palmeiras who are hoping to step up their pursuit of the midfielder in the wake of his recent comments.


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