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Ronaldinho not for sale, say Barca

sports Updated: Dec 10, 2007 20:05 IST

AFP
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Barcelona president Joan Laporta said Sunday that Brazilian superstar Ronaldinho was not for sale and quashed reports that the club was negotiating with English giants Chelsea or European champions AC Milan.

Speaking after Barcelona's 2-1 win over Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday Laporta said: "We are not going to sell Ronaldinho. We are not in contact with Chelsea, Milan or any other team.

"We are counting on Ronaldinho and you could see tonight that he fought like all the rest of the players."

Chelsea, bankrolled by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, have been mooted as potential suitors along with Milan who have several of Ronaldinho's Brazilian international team-mates in their ranks.

Ronaldinho has cut a forlorn figure this season with the 27-year-old Brazilian, contracted until June 2010, struggling to recapture his form and Barcelona's demanding fans have jeered their idol.

There have been reports that Ronaldinho's penchant for late-night partying is behind his below-par displays although the club have tried to keep a lid on the whole affair.

Ronaldinho, the 2006 Ballon d'Or winner, started for Barca against Deportivo on Sunday and converted a penalty, his sixth goal of the season, as his team moved to within four points of leaders Real Madrid with a 2-1 win at Camp Nou.