Barcelona changes travel plans

Barcelona will travel to London on Tuesday evening amid fears of volcanic ash drifting towards England ahead of the Champions League final.

The Spanish champions were due to head to England on Thursday for this weekend’s Wembley showpiece against Manchester United, but have opted to arrive two days ahead of schedule.

A Barca statement read: "To avoid possible disruption due to ash from the volcano Grimsvotn, the Barca first team will travel to London today at 2200hrs."

Barca spokesman Toni Freixa will appear at a press conference at the Nou Camp at 1700 local time (1600 BST) on Tuesday afternoon to provide further information to supporters.

The eruption of the Grimsvotn volcano has already led to airlines cancelling a number of flights to and from Irish and Scottish airports.

Coach Pep Guardiola on Monday spoke of his concerns over disruption that could be caused to both the team and the fans – many of whom will travel on the day of the match – and promised the Catalan club would take every precaution.

"I hope the volcano sleeps a little bit longer," he said.

"The important thing is that they tell us; whatever they say we’ll do with the maximum anticipation possible.

"If they tell us we can’t risk the trip then we’ll travel tomorrow or the day after.

"If not, we’ll travel like we planned – we will not take any risks."

Guardiola believes UEFA will go ahead with the final even if the fans are unable to travel.

"The final will be on Saturday," he said. "UEFA won’t change the date of the final.

"We will play even if the stadium is half empty, but that would be sad.

"Let’s hope that the volcano doesn’t disrupt travel plans of all the fans who want to go."

Barca were forced to travel by bus to Milan to face Inter in the semi-final of last year’s competition after flights were cancelled due to the ash cloud which covered much of western Europe. Jose Mourinho’s Inter won 3-1 at the San Siro and went through 3-2 on aggregate.