sport

Barcelona bid for Mathieu

Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta has revealed that the club have made an offer for Valencia defender Jeremy Mathieu.

The 30-year-old centre-back, who has been capped twice by France, is reported to have a 20 million euro price tag as Barcelona continue their hunt for Carles Puyol's replacement.

Puyol's retirement from football at the end of last season has left Luis Enrique's side with a defensive void to fill and a number of European stars have been linked with a move to the Nou Camp, including Joao Miranda from Atletico Madrid and PSG's Marquinhos.

Barcelona are said to have been keen on Mathieu for some time and Zubizarreta admitted that a bid has been lodged.

"Valencia already know our offer and we want to maintain privacy in the negotiations. Of course we have other alternatives if this falls through," he said."Hopefully by La Liga's start we have that centre-back position covered. If we wanted a centre-back before now, we would have signed one."We want someone who can put in top performances for many years and that's what we're working on."Signing is a centre-back is an objective for 80-90 per cent of the major European clubs so it not only depends on what we want to do - the exception is David Luiz to Paris Saint-Germain, that's the only real major movement in this regard."

Enrique has already seen his side capture goalkeeping duo Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Claudio Bravo this summer, as well as Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic from Sevilla and Luis Suarez from Liverpool.

Meanwhile, Valencia confirmed that a deal had been agreed to sign 20-year-old midfielder Andre Gomes from Benfica, subject to a medical.

An official club statement read: "Andre Gomes will take a relevant medical examination on Thursday, July 17 to become a new player of Valencia CF."