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Football: Barcelona buy defender Mathieu for 20 million euro

Spanish giants Barcelona said Wednesday they have bought 30-year-old French defender Jeremy Mathieu from Valencia for 20 million euro (US$27 million).

BARCELONA: Spanish giants Barcelona said Wednesday they have bought 30-year-old French defender Jeremy Mathieu from Valencia for 20 million euro (US$27 million). Barcelona have been seeking to bolster their defence since Carlos Puyol ended his career.

Though he is not an established French international, Mathieu is recognised as a powerful operator at left back and in central defence. Barcelona called him a "physically imposing defender". The Catalan club had made several offers to Valencia for Mathieu who last week issued a public letter calling on the side to negotiate his release. "I have a chance to play for the world's biggest club and that's all I want right now," he said.

Barcelona said in a statement it had reached agreement on a transfer and Mathieu would sign a four season contract. "The cost of the transfer is 20 million euro and the buyout clause will be 50 million euro," it said.

Mathieu played at Sochaux and Toulouse in the French first division until he joined Valencia in 2009.

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