Barcelona deny interest in Robin van Persie and Gareth Bale

Barcelona have been linked with summer moves for Robin van Persie and Gareth Bale - but the Spanish club deny any interest

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Pep Guardiola's Barcelona are seven points behind Real Madrid in La Liga Photo: The Sport Review

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Barcelona have dismissed reports linking the Spanish champions with summer moves for Arsenal captain Robin van Persie and Tottenham Hotspur winger Gareth Bale.

It had been rumoured that Nou Camp officials were in contact with the Gunners over a possible deal for the Dutch striker, who has scored a staggering 28 goals in all competitions this season.

But Barcelona vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu has denied any approach for the 28-year-old striker, whose contract at The Emirates expires in the summer of 2013.

“Nothing exists with Robin van Persie,” said Bartomeu after Saturday’s 2-1 win over Real Sociedad. “They are rumours that appear in the newspapers. We have not contacted Arsenal, nor his agent.

“Our focus is now on the Liga and Copa del Rey. It’s necessary to be focused on the task at hand and not be distracted by the transfer market.

Other reports had suggested that the Champions League holders are considering a £40m summer swoop for Bale, with Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta said to have travelled to London to watch the Tottenham star in action.

But Zubizarreta insists there is no truth behind the rumours and declared that Barcelona’s main aim is to give their youth team players a chance to compete for a place in Pep Guardiola’s starting line-up.

“It’s not true that I have been in London negotiating with anyone and I have already said a thousand times that 90 per cent of our ‘signable’ players are at Barca or in the youth team,” he told El Mundo Deportivo.

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