Borussia Moenchengladbach have once again rejected claims that goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen is close to sealing a transfer to Barcelona.
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Ter Stegen was linked with a move to the Camp Nou last season after Victor Valdes announced his intention to leave, and there were reports in Spain earlier this month that the clubs were close to agreeing a fee.
Earlier this week, Spanish media ran reports claiming Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta would meet Gladbach and ter Stegen’s agent, Gerd vom Bruch. The reports claimed the transfer was close to completion.
However, the Bundesliga side claim they hope to retain the 21-year-old Germany international, who is under contract until 2015.
“We have not been approached by any club,” Gladbach sporting director Max Eberl told kicker on Tuesday. “It is a fact. We are in contract talks, and we are optimistic that Marc will continue to play for us beyond this season since the talks have been very positive so far.”
The player’s agent also told kicker that “there is nothing new to report” with regards his future.
“The situation remains unchanged,” he said. “There have been talks with Gladbach. Marc is now taking his time to make a decision.”
Bild reports that there is a significant difference in the two clubs’ valuations of the goalkeeper.
According to the German tabloid, Barca are ready to pay eight million euros, but Gladbach want 12 million euros, and that Zubizarreta never boarded the flight to Germany because Barca’s offer had been too low.
However, Zubizarreta -- who made over 300 appearances as Barcelona goalkeeper from 1986 to 1994 -- confirmed that he had visited the country but maintains the visit had nothing to do with ter Stegen.
“I was on holidays in Germany,” he said. “That is the only thing that is the only element of truth in the news I saw.”
Zubizarreta confirmed that Barca are working to sign a replacement for Valdes, who has made clear his intention to leave the club at the end of the season, but suggested he had yet to identify his replacement.
“We are working with the possibility that Victor will not be here,” he said. “We never talk about targets or what we have done. In any position. There is time until July 2014.”
He added: “I like many goalkeepers and I have a problem: that I always end up seeing something I do not like. I was a keeper -- I always found defects and that happens to me when I look at keepers.”