Barcelona ready to open contract talks with Puyol - report

The experienced defender's current deal is due to expire at the end of the season, and the Catalans are reportedly looking to secure the Spain international's longer-term future
Barcelona are determined to retain Carles Puyol's services beyond the 2012-13 campaign, and are set to open contract talks with the Spain international in the upcoming days, Sport reports.

The centre-back's current deal is due to expire in June 2013, but the Blaugrana are hopeful that Puyol will remain at the club until the end of his career.

Sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta recently hinted that Barca would open negotiations with the 34-year-old shortly, and talks have now been scheduled to take place before the end of July.

The Camp Nou outfit plan to offer Puyol a one-year extension with the option for an additional season, thus giving the defender the opportunity to consider his options at the end of every campaign.

The Catalan has stated more than once that he intends to follow in the footsteps of Italian legend Paolo Maldini, and continue playing until he turns 40.

Puyol missed Euro 2012 due to a knee injury, but returned to the training pitch again recently after the summer break.

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