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Sevilla’s Brazilian striker Julio Baptista says he wants to stay in Spain for at least another year, according to reports in Spain

“My agent and I believe that it is important that I become classed as a European Union player and I will need another year in Spain to do that,” the 23-year-old was quoted by Barcelona-based daily Sport.

“I know Arsenal were interested in me. They were planning an offer to Sevilla and spoke with my agent, but whatever happens it has to be in the interest of both parties.”

Baptista, who was Sevilla’s leading scorer last season with 18 goals, has recently been linked with a move to Barcelona. He recently rejected an offer of a new contract from Sevilla.

Last week Sevilla president Jose Maria del Nido rejected what he called a “derisory” offer from Arsenal.

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