sport

Barca to visit St George's Park

Barcelona arrive in England on Monday as their pre-season preparations continue with a training camp at St George's Park.

The Spanish giants, who finished second in the Primera Division last term behind Atletico Madrid, will have sessions at the complex in Burton upon Trent each day from Monday to Friday before flying to France on Saturday.

Newly-appointed boss Luis Enrique has named a 26-man squad for the trip which features the likes of Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Pedro - all part of the Spain squad that was eliminated from the World Cup at the group stage.

Alex Song and new signing Ivan Rakitic, who suffered the same fate with Cameroon and Croatia respectively, are also involved, but Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano, beaten finalists at the tournament in Brazil with Argentina, are not, with their post-World Cup breaks continuing. Dani Alves of Brazil, a defeated semi-finalist, is also missing.

Gerard Deulofeu has been named in the party having returned to Barca after a season-long loan in the Barclays Premier League with Everton.

And in terms of other players recruited this summer, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Claudio Bravo - out in the last 16 in Brazil with Chile - and Jeremy Mathieu are included as well, but Luis Suarez misses out due to the suspension the Uruguay forward is serving for his bite on Italy's Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup.

Suarez, who has joined from Liverpool for 75million, was handed a four-month ban from all football-related activity by FIFA in June.

Neymar is also absent following the back injury which ended the Brazilian's World Cup.

Barca's next pre-season friendly is on Saturday evening in France against Nice. They then travel to Geneva to face Italians Napoli on Tuesday, August 5, before taking on HJK Helsinki in the Finnish capital and then Mexican outfit Club Leon at the Nou Camp.