Arsenal offer Barca aid

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Arsenal have offered a helping hand to Manchester United's Champions League final opponents Barcelona ahead of Saturday's Wembley showdown.

Barca boss Pep Guardiola took the decision for his squad to fly to England two days early to avoid any potential disruption to their travel plans after a volcanic eruption in Iceland produced an ash cloud that will continue to affect European airspace over the next few days.

Landing at Stanstead Airport late last night, the Catalan club had already approached Gunners chiefs about the possibility of setting up base in North London, and asked about using the club's London Colney training ground in preparation for their European final.

Arsenal were only too happy to assist their Spanish counterparts, reflecting a growing relationship between the two clubs.

A Barcelona spokesman confirmed: "Arsenal were kind enough to let us use their facilities on Wednesday and Thursday.


"We contacted them as soon as we knew that we had to travel early and their response was positive. It highlights the respect between the two clubs and we are obviously grateful to them."

The arrival of the likes of Lionel Messi, Xavi and Andres Iniesta at the Emirates will be met with excitement by Arsenal's fans.

With the chance of a closer look at the players who knocked Arsene Wenger's side out of this year's European competition at the last-16 stage en route to Wembley, Barcelona prepare for Saturday's showdown with United with two days training at Arsenal.

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