Jordi Alba nears Barca switch

Valencia left-back Jordi Alba could become Barcelona’s first signing of the summer, according to El Mundo Deportivo.

The enforced absence of Frenchman Eric Abidal, who has undergone a liver transplant, and the transfer of Maxwell to Paris Saint-Germain in January has left the Catalans with only one recognised left-hand sided defender in Adriano.

Tottenham Hotspur’s Gareth Bale has been mentioned as one possibility but the elevated asking price – Spurs are understood to be unwilling to do business at less than €30m – means Alba is in pole position for a switch from the Mestalla to the Camp Nou.

Despite Valencia’s reluctance to sell the 23-year-old, whose contract ends in June, 2013, they have still not reached agreement for a renewal and the player has already expressed an interest in returning to the club where he spent seven years as a youth, before being released in 2005.

However, Alba has always been very grateful for the way in which he has been treated by Valencia and is therefore believed to be willing to sign a new contract extension, providing a rescission clause is inserted that specifies if an offer is received from Barca then he can leave for €12m.

Even so, Valencia are understood to be prepared to contemplate this arrangement only if the figure is set at €18m, something neither the player nor Barcelona will accept, and Los Che would consequently risk losing the Spanish international on a free transfer in 12 months time.

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