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Coaching and Development Manager
Football Federation South Australia
Vilanova considering options
New manager Tito Vilanova will be happy to rely on Barcelona's famous production line of players if he is not able to find what he wants in the transfer market.
The Camp Nou club have lost Seydou Keita, who last week joined Chinese club Dalian Aerbin, this summer, while defender Eric Abidal is still recovering after a liver transplant.
Spain full-back Jordi Alba has been brought in but, having succeeded former boss Pep Guardiola, Vilanova remains keen to find a versatile defender.
The Barcelona boss will look for possible signings, however, he is not afraid to use players from his club's famous La Masia Academy.
"The pre-season will decide the size of our squad," Vilanova told AS.
"We have a reduced squad and they will all feel useful. I like this possibility. We can see how the players are accepted or in some cases sent to stay in Barca B.
"It is not usual that a player like Keita leaves Barcelona. With him, he covered two positions, and with Abidal, out with illness, two more positions.
"If we can find a player that can play at centre-back and full-back then perfect. If not, then we will try home-grown players."
Meanwhile, Vilanova is still coming to terms with life without Guardiola but is warming to the reality of leading the Catalans this season.
Vilanova was Guardiola's assistant throughout a trophy-laden four-year period in charge and, after reuniting with his players who were not on international duty this summer, he is looking forward to incorporating those involved in the European Championship in the coming weeks.
"Guardiola and I spent five years together and the first day seems strange, but we have to get used to it because this is what we will encounter all season," he said.
"In these days I have tried to rest a lot. I have had conversations with some players during this time because I am interested in their development and yesterday was when we spoke clearly. However, the more extensive talk will happen when everyone returns."
The 42-year-old's first major challenge will be to overcome Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup in August.
Vilanova will be able to watch both matches from the touchline after his one-game ban and Jose Mourinho's two-match suspension from last year's preliminary to the season were overturned.
The Barca boss, however, still feels television evidence showing Mourinho poking him in the eye will have a lasting effect on the football-supporting public.
"After a year we are still speaking about the Super Cup with Mourinho and I am tired of it," he said. "The only judge fixed a sanction and then relieved it as a measure of grace, which I accepted.
"The punishment they give us is not one game or two, the biggest punishment are the images that will be seen for many years to come."
Date: 2012-07-19 12:44:59