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By ESPN Staff
Jul 21, 2006

Barca open for new signings despite Juve swoop

MADRID, July 21 (Reuters) - Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard has not ruled out another dip into the transfer market after securing Juventus duo Gianluca Zambrotta and Lilian Thuram.

'At first we were happy with the team we had but you always have to take advantage of opportunities that present themselves,' Rijkaard told the club's website on Friday.

'A great club should never close its doors. We now have a great squad but you never know what might happen.'

The European and Spanish champions signed Italian defender Zambrotta and French defender Thuram on Thursday for a reported fee of around 19 million euros (£12m), taking advantage of the problems surrounding the Italian side.

Juventus have been involved in a match-fixing scandal in Italy and last week were demoted to Serie B by a tribunal investigating the case. They will also start the season on minus 30 points.

'The club have signed two players that can bring a lot to the side. It is good to have them because the season is long, with many games, and we now have sufficient players to start our new adventure,' Rijkaard added.

'Zambrotta is a great player who has played at a high level for a number of years and of Thuram I don't need to say much. As a footballer he has won everything.

'It is important that we have people of the highest level who know what's needed in the dressing room and on the pitch for the team to have more success.'

Zambrotta, a World Cup-winner with Italy earlier this month, has agreed a four-year contract, while the 34-year-old Thuram, who was in the French side that won the World Cup in 1998 and the European Championships in 2000, has signed for two.

They join Icelandic striker Eidur Gudjohnsen as Barca's close season signings.