Guardiola guarded on Ibrahimovich future

19:41, August 26, 2010      

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Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola admits that he is unsure whether his club is going to sell striker Zlatan Ibrahimovich before the start of the new BBVA Primera Liga season.

Wednesday night saw Ibrahimovich play in the first half of Barcelona's Torneo Gamper - the club's traditional curtain raiser on the season in which the Catalan side faced Italian giants AC Milan.

However, his appearance took place after a day of speculation that Barcelona was negotiating to sell the Swedish international to the Italian side after club presidents Sandro Rosell and Adriano Galliani had lunch before traveling to the Camp Nou stadium together.

Meanwhile Guardiola hinted that something was happening, but was unwilling to clarify the striker's future.

"It is better for me not to say anything at all about the question of Ibrahimovich. If I have spoken to him twice, then it is obviously for a reason," he said in sports paper Diario AS.

"I don't know if he will continue being a Barcelona player or not, but if he is still here on August 31 (when the transfer window closes), then he will be treated just as everyone else in the club."

"It is my obligation to recover him as a player," he said.

Ibrahimovich began his Barcelona career in fine form, scoring 12 league goals in the first half of the season. However, an injury then kept him out of action for an month and his subsequent loss of form saw him score net only four league goals in the second half of the season.

Barcelona's technical staff also believe that his style of play as a big powerful target man clashes with the team's football, which is based on pace and quick passing and that he tends to slow down his side's attacks.

If Ibrahimovich is sold, Barcelona will use some of the transfer fee to sign a defensive midfielder, probably Javier Mascherano from Liverpool.



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