Barca gear up for ‘El Clasico’ with Ribery signing

BARCELONA have reached an agreement with Bayern Munich to sign French star Franck Ribery, according to reports in Spain.

Ribery has been a long-term target for Barca and the Catalan giants are thought to have a struck a deal with Bayern to sign the 26-year-old winger this summer.

Bayern are believed to have accepted a fee of €25 million plus the choice of either Aleksandr Hleb or Eidur Gudjohnsen, who are valued at €8m.

Meanwhile Arjen Robben has been included in the Real Madrid squad for tonight’s crunch Primera Division clash with the Catalan giants.

A Madrid win over their fiercest rivals at the Bernabeu in ‘El Clasico’ would throw the title race wide open.

The Catalans travel to the capital four points ahead of Real with five games to play but that lead could be whittled down to a single point if Madrid win. Robben had looked certain to miss the match between the top two in La Liga when he limped out of the derby against Getafe on April 21 with a leg injury just 18 minutes after appearing as a half-time substitute.

Madrid announced he was likely to be sidelined for “two to three weeks”, but Robben has made a remarkable recovery and, after coming through a full training session yesterday, was named in Juande Ramos’ 19-man squad for the game at the Bernabeu.

French winger Julien Faubert, who has rarely featured since joining Madrid on loan from West Ham in January, is also included as is fit-again full-back Gabriel Heinze.

Barca coach Pep Guardiola, meanwhile, has named a strong 19-man squad. Thierry Henry is doubtful to play from the start after complaining of a sore neck after suffering a hard knock to the head in midweek so Guardiola is thought to be toying with the idea of pushing Andres Iniesta forward.

Rafael Marquez is missing after suffering a knee injury during the match against Chelsea, but otherwise Barca are only missing long-term absentee Gabriel Milito of their senior players.

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