Malaga join race for Barcelona ace
Málaga have joined the race to sign Barcelona midfielder Seydou Keita, according to El Mundo Deportivo.
Keita, 32, looks to have played his final game in a Barca shirt after waving goodbye to the fans when he left the field during the 4-0 defeat of Espanyol last weekend.
The arrival of Cesc Fabregas at the start of the season has made it harder for him to get a starting place under boss Pep Guardiola, appearing in 38 matches out of a possible 62 this term with just 19 starts, and although his contract at the Camp Nou expires in 2014 he feels he may need to go elsewhere to get regular playing time, given his age.
It is understood Málaga general manager Fernando Hierro took advantage of his club’s fixture in Barcelona last week to meet with the Barca hierarchy, including President Sandro Rosell and director of football Andoni Zubizarreta, to discuss a possible transfer. The player’s agent, Pascal Boisseau, is also thought to have spoken with Málaga boss Manuel Pellegrini who wants Keita to strengthen his central midfield with a role alongside French international Jeremy Toulalan.
However, the Costa del Sol club could face competition from Serie A and the Premier League, although if Málaga qualify for the Champions League this weekend then Keita may be tempted to remain in Spain given the Qatari-owned club’s resources.
The Mali international joined the Catalans for €14m from Sevilla in May, 2008 and has won 13 trophies in his four years with La Blaugrana: two UEFA Champions Leagues, three La Ligas, one Copa del Rey, three Supercopas de Espana, two UEFA Super Cups and two FIFA World Club Cups.