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FC BARCELONA

Barça coach retakes the reins after US treatment

Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova will return to the Nou Camp "this week" from New York, where he has been receiving treatment for cancer, the Spanish giants said on Monday.

Barça coach retakes the reins after US treatment
Vilanova's last match in charge was on the 16th of January when Barça faced Málaga in the King's Cup. Photo: Lluis Gener/AFP

"Tito Vilanova will be back in Barcelona this week after two months spent in New York," Barca said on its website.

Vilanova has been Stateside since January 22 to undergo treatment after suffering a relapse of the cancer in his parotid gland towards the end of last
year.

Assistant coach Jordi Roura has taken charge of Barcelona in the absence of Vilanova, who first underwent surgery in November 2011.

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CORRUPTION

Barçagate: Police raid FC Barcelona offices and arrest former president

Police raided the offices of FC Barcelona on Monday, carrying out several arrests just six days ahead of the club's presidential elections, a Catalan regional police spokesman told AFP.

Barçagate: Police raid FC Barcelona offices and arrest former president
Barcelona's former president Josep Maria Bartomeu is among the arrested. Photo: Josep Lago/AFP

Spain's Cadena Ser radio said one of those arrested was former club president Josep Maria Bartomeu, who resigned in October, along with CEO Oscar Grau and the club's head of legal services.

But the police refused to confirm names, saying only “arrests are taking place” and adding that the operation was being run by officers from the financial crimes unit.

“We are in the process of carrying out an operation right now with agents of the financial crimes unit,” the police spokesman told AFP.

According to reports in the Spanish media, the operation is linked to last year's investigation into the 'BarçaGate' scandal, which saw the club deny hiring a company to criticise current and former players on social media to improve the image of the then-president Bartomeu.

Cadena Ser said Barca paid €1 million in six separate invoices to the company I3 Ventures, with whom the club have since cut ties.

Bartomeu resigned in October, after mounting pressure following months of controversy and a dramatic decline in performances on the pitch.

His successor is due to be elected on Sunday, when club members will choose between the final three candidates, Joan Laporta, Toni Freixa and Victor Font.

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