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Barca shows the door to surplus stars
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09:12, June 18, 2008

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Ronaldinho, Samuel Eto'o and Deco are missing from Pep Guardiola's plans at FC Barcelona as the new coach begins the task of reversing the club's flagging fortunes.

"We are contemplating the future without them. The coach thinks this way after analyzing questions of performance and the (last) season," Guardiola said Tuesday at his presentation at Camp Nou stadium.

Ronaldinho, who has lost his status as the world's best player after a poor season, is currently being courted by Manchester City. AC Milan has shown interest in Eto'o, a three-time African player of the year who has scored 77 league goals in his four seasons with the club. Portugal midfielder Deco could join coach Luiz Felipe Scolari at Chelsea.

However, Guardiola said France striker Thierry Henry and Mexico defender Rafael Marquez would remain at Barcelona.

Barcelona's Ronaldinho gestures during a training session at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelonain this picture taken April 3, 2008.

Barcelona finished in third place in last season, 18 points behind champion Real Madrid -- its worst showing in five years.

Guardiola said Ronaldinho and Eto'o would also stay if he "knew they would score 60 goals."

"If they were at their best they would be with us," he said. "We're planning the season without them but if they end up staying I will give my all to get them back to their level."

The new coach suggested that Ronaldinho's attitude was also at the heart of his decision.

"(If) he can get back to being the player he was, perhaps we could have a rethink. But circumstances are not what they are. I want a strong dressing room in which everyone feels important. That's vital. If we don't look after these aspects, we'll be less strong. And if Ronnie felt this, he would be with us," Guardiola said.


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