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Ronaldinho may leave Barcelona

Latest update : 2008-03-26

Barcelona's management may be trying to get rid of the Brazilian superstar Ronaldinho, according to the Spanish press. The club's president, Joan Laporta, has denied that there is a "divorce between Ronalidinho and Barca".

Relations between Barcelona and Ronaldinho have reached a point of no return and the club may dispense with the Brazilian star at the end of the season, Spanish newspapers said Wednesday.

The club's management is fed up with the midfielder's late-night revelings and his continued poor form this season, and is looking for a way to get rid of him, said the sports dailies Marca and Sport.

The club's president, Joan Laporta, told a news conference late Tuesday there is "no divorce between Ronaldinho and Barca".

But Spanish media said the divorce has already been finalized and the question of the striker's departure was discussed at a club meeting Tuesday.

The Brazilian was bought from Paris Saint-Germain for around 30 million euros (47 million US dollars) in 2003 and is under contract to the Catalan club until the summer of 2010 with a salary estimated at around 8 million euros a year.

Sport said Barca may let him go this summer, without demanding a huge transfer fee, to any number of European clubs who have shown interest, in particular Chelsea and AC Milan.

The former World Player of the Year, 28, is having his worst season since arriving at Barca and was not selected for the Brazilian team that is to face Sweden in a friendly in London later Wednesday.

The Spanish press, which has been full of speculation about Ronaldinho recently, last week delighted in mocking him when he missed a match through injury even though doctors found nothing wrong with him.

Barca said on its Web site Wednesday that Ronaldinho had performed recuperation exercises in the club's gym in the morning.

Frank Rijkaard's team are now just four points behind league leaders Real Madrid after thrashing Valladolid 4-1 at Camp Nou on Sunday — without Ronaldinho.

Date created : 2008-03-26

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