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Former Villarreal star Bakambu flattered by reported Barcelona links

20:13 GMT+3 06/01/2022
Cedric Bakambu Beijing Guoan Chinese Super League
The 30-year-old is a free agent and he is currently seeking a new challenge after leaving Beijing Guoan in November

Former Villarreal striker Cedric Bakambu has described transfer reports linking him with a move to Barcelona as ‘flattering’ as he awaits a return to European football.

The DR Congo international ended his over three-year spell at Beijing Guoan in November after winning the 2018 Chinese Super League title and winning the top scorer’s prize in the 2020 league season.

Bakambu is said to be a transfer target for Barcelona who are looking to strengthen their squad this January and he sees the reports as encouraging despite playing in Asia since 2018.

“Of course, it's flattering to be associated with Barca,” the former Villarreal star told Foot Mercato.

“Now, it's not an end in itself, I take it as a source of motivation, it pushes me to perform. It proves that my work in China paid off.

“Despite the fact that I went into exile on the other side of the planet, the European teams still think of Cedric Bakambu and, for me, it's the fruit of the work accomplished, let's put it that way.”

Bakambu started his professional career in Sochaux before moving to Bursaspor and Villarreal where he rose to prominence as he was named in the 2015-16 Uefa Europa League Squad of the Season.

When asked about his next adventure, the 30-year-old said; “It will depend on the club that wants to sign me. I attach a lot of importance to relationships, it's important.

“I want to feel wanted by the management, but especially by the technical staff. We know very well that in a group, the coach's opinion is essential. This is clearly what I'm looking for with the sporting challenge.

“Today, I am a little more open we will say and we will see. Me too, I read the press, I am announced everywhere from left to right. After that, I already have a little idea of ​​what I want to do. Then we'll see how it goes.”

Bakambu will not be playing at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations which starts on Sunday, after DR Congo failed to qualify for the tournament in Cameroon.

The Leopards finished third in Group D of the qualification round, behind Gabon and Gambia.