Palmeiras rules out Riquelme deal

Rio de Janeiro, Jan 25 (IANS): Brazilian club Palmeiras has ruled out signing Juan Roman Riquelme, less than a week after agreeing to financial terms with the former Argentina international midfielder.

The decision follows a meeting between the Alviverde's new president Paulo Nobre, executive director Jose Carlos Brunoro and coach Gilson Kleina at the club's Sao Paulo base Thursday, reports Xinhua.

"We all agree that Riquelme is a great player but we are in a rebuilding process and facing financial challenges," said Nobre, who replaced Arnaldo Tirone as Palmeiras president Monday.

"Good players come at a cost and you can't go doing crazy things in football. Palmeiras doesn't have the luxury of bringing in a player of his value," he added.

"As far as we are concerned his signing can be ruled out. The fans want him to come and we would love to sign him but we have to be responsible. We are doing what we believe is in the best interests of the club."

Last week Riquelme told Argentine media that he was "inclined to sign" with the Brazilian outfit after a meeting with outgoing president Tirone in Buenos Aires.

Palmeiras, one of the most successful clubs in Brazil's history, was last year relegated to the country's Serie B but qualified for Latin America's prestigious Copa Libertadores tournament by virtue of winning the Brazil Cup.

Riquelme, whose career has included spells at Barcelona and Villarreal in Spain, won 51 caps for Argentina before ending his international career in 2008.


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