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Discussion Starter #1
I want to address the issue of XT members whose sole contribution is to provide football articles from various web sites. There seems to be a growing resentment in regards to over-kill to multiple articles being pasted through out different threads. We feel that these articles do not help foster communication but in fact do the opposite.

This thread will contain only copy & pasted articles regarding transfer rumours or articles where the poster chooses not to paricipate in a discussion. If such articles appear in other threads they will either be deleted or moved.

Thanks for your assistance!

Real Madrid Forum
 

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ok, no problem...

Manchester City Interested In Geremi

Geremi - wanted by Boro and City, but at the right price (Allsport)
06/08/2003. Manchester City are attempting to out-flank Middlesbrough in the quest to secure the signature of Real Madrid's Cameroon international midfielder Geremi.

Geremi made a big impression on Teeside during a season-long loan deal to Boro, but although Steve Mc:Claren is keen to sign the player on a permanent basis, Boro have balked at Real's asking price of almost ?0 million.

City meanwhile have reluctantly seen Geremi's compatriot Marc Vivien Foe return to Lyon after completing a similar season-long loan spell in Manchester, because boss Kevin Keegan refused to meet the French champions' valuation of the midfielder.

Now reports suggest that City are preparing a bid for Geremi, and claim that Keegan "has been in contact" with Real about a deal. City are understood to be willing to offer more than Boro have offered so far, though less than Real are asking. Any potential deal would also involve staggered payments.

City's interest will be a blow to Boro, for whom Geremi shone in midfield last term. He had expressed a wish to remain on Teesside, but unless the club are prepared to up their offer, Geremi may be playing in Manchester ?or back on the bench in Madrid ?next season.

soccerage :)
 

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Che, I couldnt agree more with this decision. Sometimes trying to get to the part where people actually express their opinion is a bit of a struggle. :thumbsup:
 

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this is very good,it's so irritating in the middle of nice debates and as you see Carson has no problem at all

i believe it should be done in every forum
 

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Good one Che
Keep up the good work
 

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Discussion Starter #8
sshhhhhhhhhhhhhh! No talking!

funny, the copy and paste thread has caused more discussion than I antcipated!

so knock it off and start pasting!:) ;)

Beckham at heart of Madrid's global vision
By Matthew Beard
10 June 2003


The phoney war over David Beckham's future took a new turn yesterday when a Real Madrid executive illustrated the club's future business strategy by showing a video of the Manchester United player.

Speaking at a sport and business conference in London, the former Spanish international striker Emilio Butragueño, said his club's financial success depended heavily on commercial partnerships with global brands.

To illustrate the point he screened a 30-second television advertisement for a soft drink featuring players from Manchester United and Real Madrid, with Beckham as the central character. The video formed part of Real's marketing pitch long before they were linked with the England midfielder.

Butragueño said: "David Beckham is a big company. Right now he's one of the most important players in terms of marketing in the world. Our goal is to increase marketing, you have to think globally. You can't just plan in Spain or Europe any longer. The likes of Man United are huge in Asia.''

Afterwards, Butragueño said he had "no intention of giving the impression that we are going to sign him". He added: "We just chose the most representative player at Manchester United and that was David Beckham."

Milan have distanced themselves from speculation over Beckham's future. The club's president, the Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, said: "There are many better ways of spending money other than hiring Mr Beckham."
 

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Re: sshhhhhhhhhhhhhh! No talking!

Che said:
funny, the copy and paste thread has caused more discussion than I antcipated!
:howler:

no talking here...i can provide u a smiley... ;)
 

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INTER want becks as well...

Monday, June 9, 2003

Berlusconi no to Beckham

AC Milan president Silvio Berlusconi has denied that David Beckham will join the European champions.

Beckham: Better uses for ?0M? (LaurenceGriffiths/GettyImages)

Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani had said that the England captain is the Italian giants' main target in the summer transfer market.

But Italian premier Berlusconi was not keen to boost Manchester United's coffers with ?0 million for Beckham.

'There are many better ways of spending money that has been earned with many sacrifices other than hiring Mr Beckham,' Berlusconi said.

Berlusconi is in Israel for talks with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Milan, who have long been linked with a possible bid for Beckham, are owned by Berlusconi's Fininvest company.

Milan were the favourites to sign Beckham after United admitted they were in talks with Spanish and Italian clubs about selling the midfielder.

Barcelona presidential candidate Joan Laporta wants to buy Beckham while Real Madrid could also be interested.

And Inter Milan suggested Beckham could still end up at the San Siro.

Inter general director Massimo Moretti, not to be confused with the club's president Massimo Moratti, said: `Beckham is a great player, there is an interest because the best players always appeal to Inter Milan.''

Moretti admitted, though, that any agreement would be hard to reach.

`Some transfers of big players are easy and others, as in Beckham's case, are very difficult,'' he said.

`It is a very difficult transfer and very costly but we are considering it. In the next 15 days we will evaluate the situation of our players.'


Conversely, Real Madrid's interest seems to be very much alive.

Emilio Butragueno, Real's deputy general manager, refused to talk about a possible transfer but in a presentation at a sport business conference in London used a film clip of the England captain to highlight the value he could bring to the club in the international market.

soccernet ;)
 

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Capello set for Real return? Tuesday 10 June, 2003

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Roma boss Fabio Capello is the leading contender to take over at Real Madrid if Vicente Del Bosque is shown the door.

Reports in Italy on Tuesday claim that the Italian could be set for a return to La Liga as Del Bosque has yet to sign a new deal with the capital outfit.

"Stories surrounding my future have been rife for over a month now," said the Real tactician. "A new contract is almost complete but I haven¡¦t signed yet.

"There are no economical problems between us, I just want to be sure that the club believes that it would be right to keep me on.

"Everything else is insignificant. I just need to know that Real are happy with me. If they are not then the logical thing to do is change Coach."

That statement has opened the door for the former Milan boss to possibly return to the side whom he led to a Spanish League title in 1996/97.

Real haven¡¦t had one of their best seasons and Del Bosque¡¦s job was seemingly put on the line after their Champions¡¦ League semi-final defeat to Juventus.

They were instantly linked with moves for Marcello Lippi of Juve and reportedly held talks with Arsenal¡¦s Arsene Wenger.

Capello would strongly consider the option of a switch as stories persist of his uneasy relationship with Roma chief Franco Sensi.

Should the Coach leave the Stadio Olimpico then it is believed that outgoing Brescia boss Carlo Mazzone would take the reigns.

channel4 :eek:

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Del Bosque Will Only Stay At Real If He Is Wanted
Latest News | News Archive

Future in the balance (Reuters)
06/10/2003. Real Madrid coach Vicente Del Bosque has told the Spanish press that he only wants to stay if the club genuinely want to keep him.

The Merengues have delayed talks over extending his current contract which runs out in June.

"I want them to be happy with me and if they are not, the logical thing would be for them to get a new coach," he told Diario AS.

He also touched on conversations between himself and Director of Sport Jorge Valdano.

"We speak about the team and we last talked a month ago," he said.

"He told me my contract renewal was almost completed, and I said we'll talk about it in the future.

"The club are the ones who decide the time frame; it's a complicated matter, but I say the club has to control it and not make mistakes."
SA Europe

soccerage

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Malaga Target Audacious Morientes Swoop
Latest News | Latest Transfer News | News Archive

Fernando Morientes (Getty Images)
06/10/2003. Malaga have been linked with an ambitious move for Real Madrid striker Fernando Morientes.

Club officials believe that if either Dely Valdes or Dario Silva leave this summer (the second looks certain to go), the money saved on wages can help go towards a big signing.

Malaga could first seek a 12-month loan deal.

soccerage
 

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Real 'ready for Beckham swoop'

Ronaldinho has also been linked with Real
Real Madrid are believed to be ready to hijack Barcelona's move for David Beckham.
Manchester United have struck a deal to sell Beckham to Barcelona if Joan Laporta is elected president of the Spanish club on Sunday.

But it has been widely reported in the Spanish press that Real are poised to enter the bidding for the England captain - and that Madrid is Beckham's first choice.

The picture is being clouded, however, by claims that Manchester United target Ronaldinho is being lined up for a move from Paris St Germain to Real.

According to The Times newspaper, Ronaldinho's brother Robert Assis had negotiated a five-year contract with United, but Real Madrid and Barcelona have now agreed to match the deal.

Real as well as others have made us an offer and he has more friends there than elsewhere

Ronaldinho's brother Robert Assis

And Madrid would be Ronaldinho's preferred destination ahead of Old Trafford.

"He hasn't signed for United," said Assis. "We have had contact with various clubs, but no deal is done.

"Ronaldinho knows he'll be playing for a great club next season.

"Real as well as others have made us an offer and he has more friends there than elsewhere, so that could influence our decision."

Man Utd accept Beckham bid

Manchester United have accepted a conditional offer from Barcelona for Beckham, with Ronaldinho widely tipped to become his replacement at Old Trafford.

But Beckham has responded by saying that he has no interest in speaking to Barcelona and that he feels he is being used as a "political pawn" in the presidential election.

Barca have also failed to reach next season's Champions League, and Madrid is therefore seen as a more likely destination should he agree to leave Old Trafford.

If Madrid agree a deal for Ronaldinho, however, then the chances of them signing Beckham as well would diminish.

BBC
 

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June 12, 2003

Beckham's dream moves a step closer in Real life
By Oliver Kay



DAVID BECKHAM will be granted his wish for a transfer to Real Madrid, provided that they adhere to the transfer regulations and meet Manchester United’s £30 million valuation with hard currency rather than a proposed player exchange. Officials at Old Trafford last night confirmed that Real have followed up their longstanding interest in the England captain with a formal inquiry, but have warned the Spanish club that they will not be allowed to dictate the terms of the deal.
Beckham’s enthusiasm for a move to Real is well known. It has been clear for several weeks that he is as eager to leave United as they are to sell him, provided it is for a club of similar stature, such as Real or AC Milan, rather than Barcelona, whose early progress is likely to be in vain.

Barcelona still occupy pole position after Joan Laporta, a leading candidate in Sunday’s presidential elections at the club, agreed a £30 million deal with United, but Real are manoeuvring in the background with menacing intent. Ferran Soriano, one of the men behind the Laporta bid, suggested yesterday that reports of Real’s interest stemmed from the historical rivalry between Spain’s two leading clubs, but officials at Old Trafford have confirmed that a firm inquiry from Madrid has already been received.

United were initially thought to be opposed to dealing with Real, a perceived rival in both the Champions League and in the emerging commercial markets in the Far East, but their only concern stems from the Spanish club’s dubious track record with big transfers. In the cases of Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane and Ronaldo, the galacticos that they have signed in the past three summers, Real have secured agreements with the players first, severely restricting the club’s leverage in the final negotiations.

Reports in Spain suggest that Beckham has been approached, which would constitute a breach of transfer regulations, but United have no complaints as yet. “Their first contact was with David’s representatives, but they have since approached us,” a boardroom source said. “We have no opposition to dealing with Real. We have a good relationship with them and our only issue is that negotiations are done with a certain etiquette. We don’t want a repeat of what happened with Ronaldo.”

The Brazil forward left Inter Milan in acrimonious circumstances last summer in a deal that was completed two hours before the transfer window closed on August 31. Inter were ultimately forced to accept a deal worth around £28.5 million, the balance of which will be paid over five years, after Real had first attempted to use several of their fringe players, including Steve McManaman, as makeweights. United have an interest in several Real players — not least Claude Makelele, the France midfield player — but they have no plans at this stage to accept a part-exchange deal.

Jorge Valdano, Real’s sporting director, reiterated yesterday that his club’s plans would remain secret until after the Spanish Cup final on June 22, but it is understood that they were in contact with SFX, Beckham’s management company, five weeks ago, days before Florentino Perez, the club president, issued an emphatic denial of interest. A further approach was made eight days ago, resulting in a formal inquiry to Peter Kenyon, the United chief executive, this week.

Laporta, the Barcelona presidential candidate, was bullish yesterday about his hopes of signing Beckham. “I am confident that we can convince him and his agents that Barcelona is the club for him,” the Catalan lawyer said. Several sources close to Beckham have indicated that he has little or no desire to join Barcelona, at least while there is a possibility of playing for Real or AC Milan, but his commitment to the United cause, at least in the longer term, should not be overstated. “It would be very wrong to say that we are trying to force him out,” the United source said. “All the indications are that he wants to go, so we are committed to finding a deal that is right for both of us.”

At the heart of the matter is his dysfunctional relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson, the United manager, who has watched in dismay as the Beckham phenomenon has spiralled beyond the club’s control in recent months. Ferguson has detected that Beckham’s ambitions lie away from United and is eager to do business now, given that the 28-year-old, for all his professions of loyalty to the club, has shown no inclination to discuss an extension to a contract that expires in 2005, making a parting of the ways inevitable.
 

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Beckham transfer is a Real soap opera

PAUL GALLAGHER


THE focus of Europe’s favourite soap opera, The Beckhams shifted to Madrid yesterday. This time, David and Victoria’s son, Brooklyn, four, was at the centre of the latest twist in the plot as the action moved from Barcelona to the Spanish capital.

One Madrid newspaper claimed Posh and Becks have already paid for a place for their elder son at a leading English school in the city. The sports daily AS said the Beckhams had placed Brooklyn at Runnymede College in the La Moraleja district, home to millionaires and a mere 15-minute drive from Real Madrid’s training headquarters.

An official at the school refused to confirm the story yesterday. "We never talk about individual pupils, present or future," she said.

But the shift in direction was undeniable - after Manchester United hoisted the For Sale sign and said they were ready to strike a deal with Barcelona, all roads were now leading to Madrid.

The refusal of Beckham’s representative to meet Joan Laporta, the Barcelona presidential candidate, to discuss the £30 million deal is regarded as significant by observers in Spain.

Carmen Colina, a columnist with Diario AS, wrote: "Nobody should be fooled, David Beckham will play for Real Madrid next season and his signing will happen once the season [in Spain] is over.

"The England star only wants to play for Madrid and he has already told his family and friends and could make it public in the next few hours."

Diario Sport, based in Barcelona, also agreed the deal to bring Beckham to the Catalan city was far from sealed. It said: "Everything depends on the negotiations with the player." El Mundo Deportivo followed a similar line, commenting: "The player’s agents will boycott Barca because they are negotiating with Real."

The Beckham saga has transformed this Sunday’s elections to appoint Barcelona’s new president. Laporta was considered an outsider but his audacious bid to bring Beckham to the club is believed to have boosted his chances. A 40-year-old lawyer from Barcelona, he sees in Beckham a successor to Johan Cruyff, the Dutch great who revived the club’s fortunes when he arrived as a player in 1973 and then returned as coach to bring them their sole European Cup win in 1992.

"Beckham could be the new leader, just like Cruyff was in the 1970s," Laporta said in a recent interview. "If we win the elections we will put Barcelona back on top in Catalunya, Spain and in the world."

Barcelona will not be playing in the Champions League next term after a desperate domestic season and they may well be forced into the Intertoto Cup, the qualifying competition for the UEFA Cup.

The announcement by Manchester United that it was willing to do a deal with Laporta should be enough to give him the club presidency when votes of the 95,000 club members are counted on Sunday. Laporta was once persona non grata at the Nou Camp stadium because of his leading role in campaigns against Josep Lluis Nunez, the former president who held the post from 1978 to 2000.

He has played a major part in the political wrangling at the club over the past decade but this is the first time he has stood for president himself. Laporta’s vision to rebuild the club to challenge their bitter rivals Real Madrid is to recruit two players at the very top of the world game - Beckham and Ronaldinho are his targets - plus three players to shore up the side.

However, the Barcelona coach, Raddy Antic, gave a far from emphatic endorsement of Beckham yesterday, saying his real worth may be off the pitch, rather than on it.

"He is a player with a capacity for doing good things and bad things," Antic told BBC Radio Five Live. "He is especially good for marketing purposes. Teams like Manchester United are looking for people like this. The newspapers are talking about it. It has been very good for Laporta."

Asked whether he would like Beckham in his team, he added: "It is difficult to say, I don’t want to say. In my position I don’t want to talk about it. If I say my opinion, I think someone will use that opinion for his matter. I have been a long time in this business. The election is to come on Sunday. Nobody knows what will happen afterwards."

Laporta has said he wanted to talk to Beckham about "our project, our dream, our city, our club, our country" and insisted he had conducted his business correctly by dealing with Manchester United rather than the player’s representatives SFX.

But the English players’ union accused Manchester United of trying to sell Beckham "like a second-hand car", echoing comments by SFX, who said he was being used as a "political pawn".

Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association, said: "Beckham is one of our finest members and he’s been so loyal to Manchester United over the years, giving them so much in terms of footballing ability.

"I just find it incredulous that a club of Manchester United’s stature should be issuing official statements with a person who is not officially in charge at Barcelona.

"It’s not the way I would want one of my members, even in the lowest club in the third division, to be treated. You wouldn’t want to sell your second-hand car in such a way, never mind one of your finest assets."

Beckham will be following in the bootsteps of the former England captain, Gary Lineker, if he does complete a transfer to Barcelona. Lineker, now a presenter on BBC Television Sport, believes the player would grow to love life in the Catalan city. "Barcelona is a wonderful club to play for, a great city to live in and a wonderful stage for any player," Lineker said in an interview.

"So as long as he is ready to embrace such an experience with his heart and soul, it would be a great move. Immersing yourself in the culture is critical to making it work abroad. It will be more difficult for David than it was for me because he has young children and therefore will not have as much time as my wife, Michelle, and I had to push ourselves to learn the language and fit in."

Despite the fact that there are two sports newspapers almost entirely devoted to the latest events at Barcelona, Lineker believes the England captain will actually find himself enjoying greater freedom away from the pitch. "The Spanish journalists will just want to know about his football and not about his latest haircut or what school the children are going to," Lineker said.

But the former Scotland international, Steve Archibald, who played for Barcelona in the mid-1980s after transferring from Tottenham, said Beckham - who returns from his holiday in America today, having missed last night’s European qualifying match against Slovakia through suspension - will encounter a different Spain to the one he and Lineker enjoyed.

"The press is different in Spain, there’s no doubt about that," Archibald said. "But the rules are changed when it comes to Beckham.

"I know what it is like there and it can be pretty claustrophobic. Initially at least, they will be jumping all over him. The Spaniards have never seen anything like this before.

"There are football superstars in Spain but this is something a bit special."

Archibald added: "When I was there I did a television advertisement but I was one of the first footballers to do one. It is only recently that players are seen on television talk shows and doing promotional work. The Spanish like a bit of glitz and glamour and will enjoy the fuss that surrounds the Beckhams. They will take the Beckhams to their hearts, as long as he proves himself on the football pitch.

"The most important thing for Beckham is to come up to scratch, to be inspirational for Barcelona. I don’t believe he can be the saviour of Barcelona and that is his biggest problem.

"As for Victoria, there is no social scene that goes with Spanish clubs. There are no jollies. You come in, do your business, and then go home again. Barcelona will not care what he gets up to in his spare time as long as it doesn’t interfere with club commitments. They quite like the fact he has a life outside football, that is why they want to buy him.

"At the moment there is no Spanish newspaper which would carry stories about the Beckhams’ private life and his exploits off the pitch. There are sports newspapers and serious newspapers. However, the interest in the Beckhams is so great I would not be surprised if their arrival changes all that."

Speculation over Beckham’s future made front page news across Spain’s newspapers, proof that the Beckham obsession is not confined to Britain. Even the sober Spanish newspaper El Pais devoted space to the phenomenon, commenting on its news page: "The name of David Beckham has caused convulsions in the Barcelona election campaign and the world football market."

But excitement over his potential arrival was not shared by Martinez Rovira, another candidate for the presidency of Barcelona football club.

"Beckham crosses well but we need someone to score the goals," Martinez said. "Beckham makes a lot of news off the pitch, but we're not interested in appearing in gossip columns."
 

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Valdano Outlines Beckham's Commercial Appeal To Real
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Becks ponders his future, but it's looking like Spain (Getty Images)
06/12/2003. As Real Madrid appeared to nose ahead in the race with Barcelona to lure England captain David Beckham, to La Liga, Real's sporting director Jorge Valdano said he believes Becks can pl;ug a gap in the club's commercial profile.

Real pride themselves on pursuing a policy of buying the world's top players. They have already assembled a side that boasts Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos, Raul, Luis Figo and Zinedine Zidane. These stars help broaden the club's appeal to the Spanish, French, Portuguese, Arab and Latin American markets.

But Valdano admits that Real lack a big-name player to capture the hearts and imaginations of English-speaking and Northern European supporters. And he acknowledged that Beckham ?an international icon ?could redress the balance.

Real's bitter rivals Barcelona have already tabled a bid for the midfielder apparently no longer wanted by Manchester United, but Roberto Carlos believes that Beckham will be at the Bernabeu next season. It is a prospect Valdano does not dismiss.

"There are icons in football and Beckham is one of them," he said.

"We have a lot of 'south' in our side; we have Ronaldo, Zidane with his Arab blood, Argentinians, Spanish and in general a lot of representation from the Latin world.

"Beckham is the north. I think that at the moment, he is a complement to the other ingredients that would be especially attractive - especially to the media," he said.

Of course, Beckham's phenomenal popularity in the Far East must be another major factor in the commercial calculations of both Real and Barca.

And Valdano, who has previously denied that Real will sign Beckham, admitted he may have been lying.

"You have to avoid the truth on many occasions in this job. To do the job well implies hiding information sometimes," he added.

"I don't lie much, but on many occasions I say nothing."

The Daily Mirror claims that Beckham's advisers held detailed discussions with Real before he went on holiday to the United States, a claim which if true makes a bit of a nonsense of some of the things his advisers said in the wake of the United-Laporta/Barca 'deal'.

Certainly the bookmakers regard Real as strong favourites to land the star, though Barcelona are by no means out of the running. AC Milan appear to be, though ?by their own choice. They do not see anyone, including Beckham, coming in to replace the players who recently took the club back to the summit of European football as Champions League winners.

soccerage
 

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Perez Is Working Hard To Get Beckham, Reveals Carlos
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Becks and Carlos to be team-mate soon? (Getty Images)
06/12/2003. Brazilian defender Roberto Carlos has revealed that Real Madrid's president Florentino Perez is working hard to ensure they sign David Beckham.

There has been a growing belief that Real were on the verge of trying to hijack Barcelona's bid to bring the England captain to Spain.

Barcelona's presidential candidate Joan Laporta has had a bid for the player accepted in principle by Manchester United, but Carlos is convinced Beckham would rather sign for Real Madrid.

"Let's wait and see what happens in the next few days," said the full-back.

"What is certain is that Florentino has done a great deal of hard work so that Beckham will come to Madrid."

He added: "Without doubt, he is one of the best in the world. Our president always goes in search of the best. I am sure that if Beckham has to choose, he will choose Real Madrid ahead of Barcelona. They are not a bad team, but he knows that we are more complete."

soccerage
 

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Real Madrid’s sporting director Jorge Valdano says that David Beckham is the missing link in the club’s global profile.

The England captain’s future at Old Trafford has been the subject of much speculation, with Barcelona being the most active in pursuing the 28-year-old.

But Real Madrid and Champions League winners AC Milan have also expressed an interest, with many now tipping Beckham to make the trip to the Bernabeu instead.

And comments by Valdano, who admitted he was lying when he claimed ‘no interest’ in the United star, that they need a high-profile Englishman at the club has added fuel to those rumours.

“There are icons in football and Beckham is one of them,” he was quoted on Sky Sports.

“We have a lot of 'south' in our side; we have Ronaldo, Zidane with his Arab blood, Argentinians, Spanish and in general a lot of representation from the Latin world.

“Beckham is the north. I think that at the moment, he is a compliment to the other ingredients that would be especially attractive - especially to the media.”

Meanwhile, Sources at AC Milan have revealed that they are willing to give Beckham his beloved No 7 shirt if he joins the San Siro outfit, despite the fact that Andrei Schevchenko is currently wearing it.

The Ukrainian will apparently be offered £1million to part with the shirt, even though the striker is reluctant to do so and has a clause in his contract that states he must play with the No 7 on his back.

“We want to keep Shevchenko but realise he will be very reluctant to give up his squad number,” the source was quoted in The Sun. “It's a difficult situation but we are prepared to dig deep to find a resolution.”
 

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Real ready to pounce for Beckham
First Published: Jun 13, 2003


Real Madrid are ready to start negotiating in earnest for David Beckham, according to the Spanish sports daily Marca.

"Beckham is the number one target for the club for the next season, although they are not prepared to mortgage the economic future of the club and (Real Madrid president) Florentino Perez has put a limit on what he is prepared to pay," said Spain's biggest selling newspaper.

What gives the report more credibility than mere speculation is that Marca have been consistently ahead of its rivals in predicting Real's major moves in the transfer market in recent years.

Marca are known to have good contacts within the club and were first with the news of Zinedine Zidane and Ronaldo arrivals over the last two summers.

No Real Madrid official was available on Friday to confirm the report but Marca added, "Real Madrid will offer the English midfielder a contract similar to that of Raul, Zidane, Luis Figo and Ronaldo. Valdano (Real Madrid director general Jorge Valdano) will put on the table a contract for five years, worth around six million euros per year."

Marca said that Real Madrid will sit down separately with Manchester United and Beckham shortly after the Spanish season finishes on June 22.

According to Marca, Real's opening offer to United would be 20 million euros and players, which will include Cameroon utility man Geremi Ndjitap who has impressed during his year on-loan at Premiership side Middlesborough.

By contrast, Barcelona presidential candidate Joan Laporta is reported to be ready to offer Beckham 10 million euros to bring him to the Nou Camp although many pundits though are wondering from where Laporta's money will come.

The Catalan club are heavily in debt, despite a lucrative television contract with Spanish satellite and cable TV company Via Digital, and will not be playing in the Champions League next season.

But Laporta has insisted all week that he will persuade Beckham to join his side.

The 40 year-old lawyer has made Beckham's capture the central promise of his electoral campaign, which comes to a head with a vote of Barcelona's 103,000 members on Sunday.

Valdano meanwhile added fuel to the fire on Thursday by stating that Beckham, if he did move to the Bernabeu, would play in the central midfield role he covets and not out on the right, where he is usually found at United.

"David Beckham is a footballer in exile. He should be playing in the centre.

"When played correctly football is like art, a wonderful painting or beautiful piece of music. Beckham is a football artist. He is the best striker of the ball anywhere," said Valdano.

Valdano finally answered one of the main questions concerning Beckham's potential move to Real Madrid: where was he going to play with Luis Figo unlikely to cede his place down the right flank?

The centre of the pitch is one of the few areas where Real Madrid have an opening, with someone required to accompany French international Claude Makelele after Flavio Conceicao and Esteban Cambiasso both fell short of expectations during the course of the season.

"If Beckham is coming to play in Spain, I think he would choose Real Madrid over Barcelona," Real's current English midfielder Steve McManaman told Spanish radio station TeleMadridradio on Friday.

However, McManaman may not be on hand to welcome his compatriot at the gates of the Santiago Bernabeu stadium, if Beckham does come to the Spanish capital as the former Liverpool man is one of the players most likely to be leaving Real Madrid this summer.

www.worldsoccernews.com
 

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Confident Real plan low bid to snare Beckham

By Oliver Kay



MANCHESTER United’s concerns about being forced into a cut-price deal for David Beckham were growing yesterday when it emerged that Real Madrid’s opening offer for the England captain will be around £14 million plus the choice of one of their fringe players. Officials at Old Trafford had already expressed fears over Real’s recent track record with big transfers and the news that the Spanish club intend to land Beckham on the cheap has merely confirmed their worst suspicions.
United have already accepted an offer worth £30 million from Barcelona, which is contingent on Joan Laporta’s success in tomorrow’s presidential elections, but it is clear that Beckham has no interest in such a transfer — at least while moving to Real or AC Milan remains a possibility. Real are aware that they would be his first choice and believe that United will be forced to drop their valuation once Beckham, who was due to return from a holiday in America yesterday, has made his intentions clear.

Milan remain interested, despite issuing several denials over the past seven days, but it is Real who have emerged as the overwhelming favourites to sign Beckham. Although United are reluctant to accept other clubs’ cast-offs, preferring to deal in hard currency, Real will offer them players from a list that includes Geremi, who spent last season on loan at Middlesbrough, and, rather misguidedly, Steve McManaman. Claude Makelele, the France midfield player, could prove a far more effective bargaining tool.

SFX, Beckham’s advisers, issued a statement on Tuesday to express his displeasure at being “used as a pawn in the Barcelona presidential elections”, but perhaps the ultimate pawn in this complicated saga is Ronaldinho, whom United hope to sign from Paris Saint-Germain. The Brazil forward’s agent has agreed contracts with both Barcelona and Real, as well as United, with Real threatening to proceed with the deal unless they sign Beckham on their own terms.

The likelihood remains that Beckham will move to Madrid, with Ronaldinho taking his place at Old Trafford, as Luis Fernandez, the outgoing PSG coach, forecast yesterday. Roberto Assis, Ronaldinho’s agent and brother, also offered some encouragement — “it’s still quite possible Roni will go to Manchester” — but the process lost further momentum yesterday when a meeting between the Brazilian and his employers, at which he was expected to request a transfer, was moved to next week.

Similarly inconclusive was a meeting between Harry Kewell, a target for United as well as Arsenal, and Professor John McKenzie, the Leeds United chairman. Kewell has been offered a two-year extension to his contract at Leeds, which expires next summer, but is thought unlikely to accept, with Arsenal his favoured destination unless he can move to Italy or Spain. “It will be some weeks before we can finalise anything,” McKenzie, who will have no alternative but to sell if Kewell rejects the offer, said.

Sir Alex Ferguson, the Manchester United manager, is eager for the wheels to be set in motion, with Beckham’s departure the key to the process, but he will have at least £10 million to spend in any case. A new goalkeeper — in addition to Tim Howard, who will arrive from the New York/New Jersey MetroStars — is a priority, although Fabien Barthez claimed yesterday that he would be happy to stay and fight for his place.

With deals planned for six players — two goalkeepers, a central defender, Ronaldinho, Kewell and David Bellion, the Sunderland forward — Ferguson wants Beckham to be sold as soon as possible, ideally to Barcelona. Numerous sources close to the England captain have said that he has no interest in moving to Catalonia at present, given that he would face at least one season without Champions League football, but that he could change his mind later in the summer if the Real option has failed to materialise.
 

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Juve swoop for Portillo Friday 13 June, 2003

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There are reports that Juventus would be willing to swap Mauro Camoranesi for Real Madrid star Javier Portillo.

The young forward has already made a splash in Spain, but has commented in the past that he would prefer to play outside Madrid in order to gain experience.

Portillo is unable to find room among the likes of Raul, Ronaldo and Fernando Morientes.

According to newspapers in Spain, there has already been a meeting between Real directors and Juventus representatives.

The only sticking point in this move is the player who is to be handed over as part of the deal.

Real have requested either Gianluca Zambrotta or Mauro Camoranesi (pictured), both Italian internationals.

As Camoranesi¡¦s form has dipped in recent months and he has demanded an improved wage to stay on, it all points towards his departure.

Born in Argentina but with an Italian international career, the winger is still half-owned by Hellas Verona.

Negotiations are on-going to decide if Juventus will buy out the other 50 per cent of his contract this summer. Camoranesi is also a known target for Inter and Roma.

channel4 :eek:
 
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