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Last Updated: Monday, 16 June, 2003, 15:32 GMT 16:32 UK
Barca poised for Beckham talks
Exclusive by Phil McNulty
Chief football writer

Barcelona's new vice-president Sandro Rosell wants to open transfer talks with David Beckham's representatives within days - and is "80% confident" he will move to the Nou Camp.

Barca are ready for Beckham sales pitch

Rosell is newly-elected president Joan Laporta's right-hand man and will lead Barcelona's negotiating team as they attempt to clinch the England captain's 30m move from Manchester United.

And Rosell told this website he is not worried about Beckham's apparent reluctance to discuss a move to Barcelona - and the possibility of a late swoop from great rivals Real Madrid.

Rosell told BBC Sport: "I would like to meet with David Beckham's representatives this week.

"We will try to contact them as from now and hope we will have the possibility and opportunity to sit down with them in the coming days.

"We would like David Beckham to sit with us, but if he cannot because of his schedule, we will proceed with his representatives, no problem."

We are very optimistic - I would say we are 70 to 80% confident
Barcelona vice-president Sandro Rosell

Beckham's camp initially appeared to suggest they would not talk to Laporta - but Rosell is optimistic their landslide election victory will spark a change of heart.

Rosell said: "I think what they said was when we were candidates, and most probably now they know we are legitimate to discuss and negotiate on behalf of the club their opinion may change.

"I don't know what they will do, but if I was them I would sit down with anyone who wanted to talk to me about a proposal.

"We are very optimistic. I would say we are 70 to 80% confident, but of course this doesn't depend only on us.

"It depends on David Beckham so I have to say 70 to 80%. If it just depended on us I would say 100%."

And Rosell outlined what he will say to lure Beckham to Catalonia as he explained: "What he needs now is to be a happier person. He needs a club that is like Manchester United, which is Barcelona.

"We are maybe not like them now, but we will change it and Barcelona will be at the same level as Manchester United, or maybe even better.

"He will also be in a very nice city, with great weather and good people who are ready to welcome him."

Rosell is also excited about the possibility of adding Beckham's talent and profile to a Barcelona side which has struggled in Spain this season.

He said: "Only the other day our former player Ronald Koeman said he was the best player in the world in his position, so we know about his qualities as a player.

"Also what surrounds him would be great for Barcelona to help put the club in the media again."

And Rosell is unconcerned by the possibility of a Real Madrid move, insisting: "Real Madrid know the Fifa rules. They would never go first to the player.

"We are not concerned by them. We will just carry on with our job."

He said: "During the coming days I hope we will meet. I'm confident we will meet them and I'm confident we will explain how good it will be for him to join us."




WATCH AND LISTEN
Barcelona vice-president Sandro Rosell
"We are 70 to 80% confident Beckham will sign"


VOTE RESULTS
Would Barcelona be the right move for David Beckham?
Yes
 26.30% 
No
 73.70% 
69354 Votes Cast
Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion


SEE ALSO
Beckham loss 'no problem'
14 Jun 03  |  Man Utd
Beckham's pride at OBE
13 Jun 03  |  Football

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