Leicester City
8:00 PM UTC
Game Details
5:00 PM UTC
Game Details
By ESPN Staff

I've got the squad I need - Guardiola

New Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola feels he already has a squad capable of challenging for honours next season even if the Catalan giants do not bring in a new striker.

Barca have already allowed Giovani dos Santos and Santi Ezquerro to leave the club while on Monday fellow forwards Ronaldinho and Samuel Eto'o both looked to have moved a step closer to the Nou Camp exit door.

Those departures could leave Barca with a dearth of attacking options next season, especially if nothing comes of their reported interest in players such as Emmanuel Adebayor, David Villa, David Trezeguet, Karim Benzema and Dimitar Berbatov.

However, Guardiola is not letting all that worry him, insisting he has total faith in the players already at his disposal.

'It's not a problem. I know that sometimes these things take time, but if we don't sign a number nine it will not be a concern,' he said.

'With the team that I have now we can go far and compete with everybody. I've got the squad I need,' added Guardiola, who still has Thierry Henry, Bojan Krkic and Eidur Gudjohnsen to lead the attack.

'I'm expecting a lot of Henry,' the former Barca captain continued.

'I've spoken to him and I know that his first year wasn't easy, but I think he brings an awful lot to the team and I want to make the most of both him and Bojan.'

Guardiola, who replaced Frank Rijkaard in the Nou Camp hotseat at the end of last season, also reiterated that the way was clear for big-name duo Eto'o and Ronaldinho to leave the club.

'They are not in our plans for the season, but if in the end they remain, they will be welcome and we will do what is necessary to get them to a great level,' said Guardiola.

The chances of either Eto'o or Ronaldinho starting next term with Barca were looking slim on Monday night.

With regards to Ronaldinho, Barca president Joan Laporta confirmed they had received two 'interesting' offers for the Brazil playmaker, one from Manchester City and the other believed to be from AC Milan.

And there are claims from Uzbekistan League side Kuruvchi that Cameroon international Eto'o has agreed a deal to join them and will be unveiled later this week.

The news was confirmed by Kuruvchi sporting director Bahtier Babayev, who told PA Sport: 'Eto'o will arrive in Tashkent on Thursday and he will sign a contract with our club, at least up until the end of 2008.

'The term of the contract will depend on our performance in the AFC Champions League. We will play Saipa in the quarter-finals and Eto'o is our main purchase before the knockout stage of the tournament.'

The news took Barca by surprise, with an official spokesperson telling PA Sport: 'Nobody at the club knows anything about this. I don't think it's very likely.'

But Kuruvchi remained adamant they had secured the services of the prolific 27-year-old hitman.

Following their initial announcement, the club put a second statement on their website after revealing they had been swamped by phone calls and emails from different countries.

The second statement insisted the African striker would arrive in Tashkent 'at night from 16th to 17th of July' with a view to representing the club in the second half of the Uzbek campaign.


Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.