By Jude Summerfield and Graeme Bailey
Barcelona have reached an agreement with former Portugal midfielder Deco to become their new sporting director at Camp Nou. 90 minutes he understands.
It will be a great summer at Barça, with current boss Jordi Cruyff confirmed he will leave at the end of the season along with Mateu Alemany, who will link up with Unai Emery at Aston Villa.
A place has vacated in the Blaugrana hierarchy and agent Deco is on good terms with President Joan Laporta. Deco made over 150 appearances for the club over four seasons, winning La Liga twice and the Champions League before joining Chelsea in 2008.
90 minutes learned Barça were impressed with the 45-year-old’s role in Raphinha’s move from Leeds last summer. The Brazilian winger signed for £55m and has been linked with a transfer window exit, although he has reiterated his wish to stay.
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His arrival would also be crucial for two important Catalan personalities, one being coach Xavi and the other Lionel Messi. Xavi has been informed of Deco’s return and is happy to see his former teammate return.
Deco is also very close to current Paris Saint-Germain striker Messi, who is about to return to Catalonia. Barca are extremely confident to announce the signing of Messi soon, although Saudi Arabian team Al Hilal also tried to make their way into the race.
However, the Argentine World Cup winner prefers a return to his old ground and Deco’s arrival is another sign the club is preparing for Messi’s return home.
On this week’s edition of Talking Transfers, part of the 90 Minutes podcast network, Scott Saunders is joined by Toby Cudworth AND Graeme Bailey to discuss all the latest transfer news. On the agenda: Aurelien Tchouameni, Lionel Messi, Moises Caicedo, Rafael Leao, Kim min-Jae, David De Gea, Dusan Vlahovic and others.
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This article was originally posted on 90min.com as Barcelona agrees terms with the club legend as new sporting director.