Barcelona reopen Abidal contract talks

Barcelona: Barcelona have reopened negotiations with left-back Eric Abidal over a contract extension, the Spanish club`s sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta said on Tuesday.

The French international defender was in the form of his life before a tumour was discovered on his liver in March.

However, after undergoing surgery, he made a rapid recovery, and after returning to action on May 3 he also appeared in Barca`s Champions League final win over Manchester United at Wembley.

Now, with the player having just one year remaining on his current contract, Barcelona are keen to secure the 32-year-old`s future.

"We made Abidal the offer of a new contract before his illness," said Zubizarreta during a press conference.

"Discussions have started again and we will try to come to an agreement."

"It will take time but we hope that we can conclude a deal and make an announcement soon."

Reports in the Spanish press claim that Barca had initially offered Abidal the two-year deal that he wanted before withdrawing it and coming back with a proposal to give the former Lyon man a rolling one-year contract instead.

"Eric has stated on numerous occasions that he wants to stay at Barcelona and finish his career at the club," the player`s agent David Venditelli told Catalan television station TV3 last month.

Bureau Report