Agent: Barcelona interested in Villarreal's Rossi

Agent: Barcelona interested in Villarreal's Rossi

Published Jun. 1, 2011 4:52 p.m. ET

Barcelona is reportedly interested in bolstering its Champions League-winning squad with Italy striker Giuseppe Rossi.

Rossi's agent Federico Pastorello told RAC 1 radio the Villarreal forward was interested after being approached by the Spanish champion.

''We've had contact with Barca and he is interested in playing for the most important club in the world,'' Pastorello reportedly said. ''The market price for Rossi is between ?25-?30 million and we're negotiating with Barcelona.''

Rossi scored 32 goals in all competitions for Villarreal, including 18 in the league to help it qualify for next season's Champions League with a fourth-place finish.


The 24-year-old Rossi, who recently signed a contract extension through 2016, has scored 77 times for Villarreal since joining from Manchester United in 2007.

Coach Juan Carlos Garrido was bracing for his leading striker's exit, saying ''so many rumors must mean something.''

''If Villarreal receives a good offer then it will be accepted and we'll thank the player for all of his efforts,'' Garrido said on Tuesday. ''Rossi has played a lot of games and has scored a lot of goals. We need to be prepared for any possible sale.''

Barcelona has won 10 major titles in the past three seasons including two Champions Leagues and three straight Spanish leagues.

But it found itself relying on the incredible form of Lionel Messi in the latter stages of the season as forwards David Villa and Pedro Rodriguez appeared to tire with only striker Bojan Krkic available off the bench. Messi capped his season at 53 goals.

Rossi's signing would be the first in the offseason for the Catalan club, which could also make another attempt at signing Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas.