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May 22, 2014

Ter Stegen had heart set on Barcelona

New Barcelona head coach Luis Enrique insists he is relishing the opportunity of returning to his former club next season.

New Barcelona signing Marc-Andre ter Stegen says he had no hesitation about joining one of the world's biggest clubs when offered the chance.

Tomas: Season review

Ter Stegen's long-expected move to Barca from Borussia Moenchengladbach was officially announced on Monday for an undisclosed fee, believed to be in the region of 12 million euros.

The goalkeeper arrived in Catalonia on Wednesday and was taken straight to the Camp Nou to sign his contract, before being unveiled to the press.

"I want to show that I can be useful for Barca," ter Stegen told a news conference. "In Germany, Barca is seen as one of the biggest clubs in the world, their style of play makes people excited. There was no choice to make, the only option was Barca. I was not interested in any offers from any other clubs."

With long-serving first-choice keeper Victor Valdes having long decided to leave, Barca sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta had been looking for a replacement with the range of skills -- speed off his line, comfortable passing the ball out from the back and ability in one-on-one situations -- which the club's style requires.

"I believe I can keep playing with my own style, and adapt it with Barca's," ter Stegen said. "Zubizarreta has been able to lend me his experience. I will try and do my work as best as possible and avoid errors. It is a great challenge for me to defend the Barcelona goal, I will do everything possible to perform well. My objective is to go as far as possible, I want to adapt quickly and to play good football."

The Germany international, who has not been named in his country's 23-man squad for the World Cup, said the positive from missing out was that he would have more time to get used to his new club and new coach Luis Enrique.

"It is a pity but maybe the move to Barcelona will be easier," ter Stegen said. "I know where I am arriving, it is what I expected and I am happy. I believe Barcelona will be a beautiful city. Tomorrow I will see [Luis Enrique] for the first time. He and his coaches have a lot of experience, he can help us a lot. He is the ideal man [for the job]."

Ter Stegen arrives at a time of change, with previous back-up goalkeeper Jose Pinto having also left the club. It was this week announced that last season's Barca B keeper Jordi Masip would be promoted to the senior squad.

A more experienced third keeper could now also arrive during the coming transfer window.

However, Zubizarreta, seated alongside ter Stegen, would not be drawn on whether such a move was planned.

"Today is the day of ter Stegen," he said. "We will talk about him, not about those who are not here."

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