Abidal delays Barca contract extension

BARCELONA - Barcelona defender Eric Abidal has been offered a contract extension but wants to wait until he is back to full fitness before signing, the France international said on Thursday.

Abidal, who turns 32 on Sunday and is tied to the European and Spanish champions until the end of the season, had surgery to remove a liver tumour six months ago before making a triumphant return to lift the Champions League trophy in May.

He is one of four Barca players along with Lionel Messi, Javier Mascherano and Victor Valdes who has played the whole of the club's four official matches this season.

However, he told a news conference ahead of Barca's La Liga game at Real Sociedad on Saturday, when he could make his 100th league appearance for the club, that he was still having tests and receiving treatment to prevent a relapse.

"I have a [contract] offer from the club," he said, adding that his health was his primary concern.

"I have discussed it with [sporting director Andoni] Zubizaretta but the first thing I said was that I don't want to deceive anyone.

"I want to get back to playing at my level. I know it will be tough because we are not machines.

"I will make this effort because I like this work and for my team mates and the club."

Former Olympique Lyon player Abidal has been linked in the media with a move to Qatar-owned Paris Saint-Germain, who have spent millions of euros on players to try to win a first French league title since 1994.

"Important people have arrived [at PSG] and it's possible they are interested (in me) but I have not had any offer," Abidal said.

"The only offer is from Barca, although there are other teams interested."


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