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Last Updated: Sunday, 15 June, 2003, 21:30 GMT 22:30 UK
Laporta elected Barca president
Beckham has shown no interest in speaking to Barca
Joan Laporta has been elected president of Barcelona and will now try to persuade David Beckham to sign for the Catalan club.

Laporta, whose campaign centred around his pledge to sign Beckham if elected, beat off competition from main rival Lluis Bassat and four other contenders.

Manchester United confirmed last week that they would be prepared to sell Beckham to Barcelona should Laporta win the elections.

Beckham must now decide whether to talk to the Catalan club or pursue a move elsewhere, with Real Madrid understood to be keen to sign the England captain.

Barcelona vice-president Sandro Rosell has admitted he is yet to speak with Beckham but is "confident" of persuading the England captain to come to the Nou Camp.

"Absolutely I am confident of signing him otherwise I wouldn't be doing this job, we will try talking to him and see what happens," said Rosell, who is the former head of Nike in Spain and South America.

The head of the SFX group Jon Holmes has also said that Beckham will decide his own future.

"United will not decide where David goes," Holmes told the Sunday Times. "David will decide what he does."

Laporta won the vote by a landslide, according to provisional results released by the club.

The 40-year-old lawyer, told Barca fans that while he will offer the England captain terms he cannot promise Beckham's signature.

He said: "We are waiting to hear from Beckham. We completed the first stage of the transfer by winning this election, now we will speak to Beckham's representatives.

"I have never promised to sign David Beckham, I said we reached an agreement with Manchester United."

THE VOTING
Laporta polled 52.57%, Bassat was second with 31.80%
More than 51,600 members voted
Members had to vote in person and show photo identification
Previous elections in 1953, 1978, 1989, 1997 and 2000

Madrid are understood to have scheduled a meeting with Beckham's advisers on 23 June to discuss the possibility of the midfielder signing for them.

It seems unlikely that Beckham, who arrived back in Britain on Saturday after a holiday in the USA, will remain at United.

Long-term presidential candidate favourite Lluis Bassat had a different election mandate, pledging to bring Ajax's Ronald Koeman to the Nou Camp as the new coach and sign several new players for the same money that Beckham would cost.




WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC Five Live's Matt Williams
"Whether Beckham agrees to go to Barcelona is another story"


New Barcelona president Joan Laporta
"Our project is more than a player like Beckham"


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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