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Barça to sign bargain Larsson

Sweden striker Henrik Larsson is set to sign for Spanish giants FC Barcelona on a free transfer.

Cut-price deal
Larsson quit Celtic at the end of last season, bringing an end to a seven-year tenure in Glasgow which yielded four Scottish League titles, two Scottish Cups, three Scottish League Cups and 173 goals. Barcelona land the former Högaborgs BK, Helsingborgs IF and Feyenoord hitman free of charge as the player is currently out of contract.

Golden Boot
His 35 league goals during the 2000/01 season earned him the prestigious ESM Golden Boot award as Europe's most prolific striker. He was recently persuaded to come out of international retirement to figure in Sweden's UEFA EURO 2004™ campaign during which he netted three goals as his country reached the quarter-finals.

Giuly arrival
Yesterday Barcelona, who will start the 2004/05 UEFA Champions League campaign in the group stage, also sealed the purchase of AS Monaco FC midfield player Ludovic Giuly.

Motta extension
Meanwhile, Brazilian midfield player Thiago Motta has agreed a three-year contract extension with the Catalan side. The 21-year-old, who has dual Italian-Brazilian nationality, had just one season to run on his original contract.