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By ESPN Staff

Barcelona still on Adebayor trail

BARCELONA, August 1 (Primera Liga) - Arsenal's Emmanuel Adebayor remains a target for Barcelona according to the Spanish club's sporting director, Txiki Bergiristain.

Reports in Spain in June suggested that Barcelona had beaten competition from AC Milan and reached a deal with Arsenal to sign Adebayor for 27million euros.

No deal was forthcoming, and since that time Milan have seemingly pulled out of the race after signing Brazilian forward Ronaldinho from Barca.

But Begiristain told Sky Sports News on Friday the Togo striker is still very much on the Catalan club's radar.

'Adebayor is one of the biggest players in football at the moment,' he said.

'There are possibly four or five strikers who could come to our club, one of biggest in Europe, and of course Adebayor is one of them.'

However, for the Arsenal forward to make the switch to the Nou Camp, Barcelona would first have to find a new club for Cameroon international Samuel Eto'o.

The 27-year-old has been told he is not part of new coach Pep Guardiola's plans as wholesale changes are carried out at Barca following the Catalan club's second successive trophyless season.

Begiristain revealed Eto'o is currently attracting interest from 'four or five big clubs' around Europe, but insisted the forward would have to move on before the Catalans could consider a bid for Adebayor.

'We will study all our options, but our squad is complete and we are happy so first we need to sell other players,' he said.

'If we can sell, we can try to get another player.'

Former Chelsea forward Eidur Gudjohnsen is another player who may be set for an exit from the 2006 European Champions.

The Iceland international has struggled to hold down a place in the side since moving to Spain in 2006. However, he claims Guardiola has told he still has a role to play at the club.

'Guardiola told me that he has faith in me,' Gudjohnsen told the Barcelona website,

'I'm ready to stay at Barca. If nothing happens before August 31 (transfer deadline) then I'll stay here.'

One forward the club have been very keen to stop leaving is Argentinian youngster Lionel Messi, who is likely to miss Barcelona's third round qualifying tie in the Champions League after being called-up to play at the Olympic Games.

A statement issued by FIFA on Wednesday said the judge of the Players' Status Committee, Slim Aloulou, agreed with the world governing body's previous ruling that it was 'mandatory' for players to be released for Olympic duty.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta announced the same day that the club would appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and that Messi would have to return if CAS ruled in the club's favour.

And Begiristain admitted Barca have not yet given up the fight to keep the player.

'We feel that we are right. The player has a contract with us and we feel he should be with us for the Champions League,' he said.

'We have a promise from the player that if CAS rules in our favour then he will come back. But the fight goes on.'


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