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Barcelona to launch summer-long campaign for £80M Man Utd star Rooney

Barcelona are preparing a mammoth offer for Manchester United star Wayne Rooney. The Daily Express says United face a summer-long battle to hang on to the golden boy of England's World Cup campaign as Barcelona ­prepare a massive bid for Rooney.

Double Footballer of the Year Rooney, 24, was last night with England's squad in the Austrian Alps unaware Barcelona are already making discreet moves to take him to La Liga in an £80million deal.

It is an unwelcome development for United, who will not countenance such distractions after two successive summers of speculation surrounding the future of Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Barcelona camp have activated agents to sound out the possibility of a Rooney move.

They know that he is happy at United but the chance for him to link up with Lionel Messi - expected to be a World Cup star for Argentina alongside England's Rooney in South Africa - at the Nou Camp has massive appeal.

Rooney is still under contract until 2012. So £80m for a 24-year-old of his standing is realistic - had he only a year left on his agreement his market value would fall significantly.

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