Laporta: Rijkaard exit necessary
© AFP

Barcelona president Joan Laporta paid tribute to the successful work of outgoing coach Frank Rijkaard, saying the club now had to rebuild with their new manager Pep Guardiola and some fresh personnel.

In five years at Camp Nou, Rijkaard won league titles in 2005 and 2006, when his team also lifted the UEFA Champions League trophy, and said goodbye on Saturday with a 5-3 win over Real Murcia. But reserve team coach Guardiola, a former Barca captain, will now take over the reins.

"It was a cycle that gave us good moments and some glorious ones, such as the Champions League in 2006, but it is now over," Laporta told LaSexta. "If cycles are ended so are the people that formed that group. Not all need to go because there are solid foundations and a group of youngsters that can still give us much more success."

Brazilian Ronaldinho, Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o, Mexican centre-back Rafael Marquez and Portuguese playmaker Deco are all expected to leave Barca in a summer clearout while the future of French striker Thierry Henry remains unclear.

Young base
However, with youngsters Lionel Messi, Bojan Krkic and Giovani dos Santos all developing alongside the likes of Andres Iniesta and Xavi, Barca have the foundations for a top side.

Barcelona are expected to give Guardiola the funds as they attempt to stop Real Madrid winning a third successive league title and director of football Txiki Begiristain revealed negotiations were already under way. "Some negotiations are advanced and some are more advanced than others," said Begiristain.

Sevilla are the main target club with Barca said to be interested in their trio of Brazilian right back Daniel Alves, Danish holding midfielder Christian Poulsen and energetic midfielder Seydou Keita.