Valencia have reached an agreement with Lazio whereby Gaizka Mendieta will quit Italy and move back to Spain with Barcelona.

Mendieta left Valencia last summer for Lazio, but he has made little impact in Serie A and the Italian club are desperate to offload him as they look to reduce their chronic debts.

However, the original deal between the clubs included a clause which ensured that Lazio would pay Valencia financial compensation a if the player was sold back to a rival Spanish club before June 2003.

Lazio president Sergio Cragnotti met with his Valencia counterpart Jaime Orti yesterday and according to Orti, an agreement had been reached.

“The options are now there for Barcelona and Lazio to reach an agreement, with us everything is closed,” said Orti.

Barcelona are prepared to sign Mendieta on loan for the next season, with the option of securing a permanent deal in 12 months time.

‘I am a little bemused with all the numbers that are being mentioned,” said Barca president Joan Gaspart.

“We are not in a hurry and we cannot say that an agreement is imminent, but everything looks good.”