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Tuesday-18-Jul-2000

Portuguese star Luis Figo is in Madrid today to finalise a new world record transfer to European champions Real Madrid.

Just over a day since Florentino Perez took over as new president of Real his main election promise seems about to come true.

The £40 million transfer breaks a record set only last week as Lazio paid Parma £37 million to sign striker Hernan Crespo.

Figo has been offered a four year contract with Real and is in talks to take up the offer. He has a clause in his contract with Barca that allows him to leave the Catalonian club if a club pays £38 million to sign him.

This clause allowed Perez and his team to get to work with Figo's agents to arrange the deal.

Perez - a building magnate - is hoping to stun the football world with his world record signing coup of Figo from hated rivals FC Barcelona. His main rivals are also involved in a presidential campaign at the Catalan giants which will climax on July 23rd and the loss of Figo could throw Barca into crisis.

Figo never denied contact between his agents and Perez since the end of Euro 2000 and said he would wait until the result of the Real election before deciding on his future.

SS Lazio failed in a bid for Figo just before Euro 2000 and the player was never likely to work with Lorenzo Sanz but Perez is about to pull off a notable coup. The new Real president offered to buy all season tickets and distribute them for free if Figo did not join Real.

Figo has been Portuguese player of the year for the past seven seasons and is rated as the top player to emerge from that country since the 1960s. The 28 year old has helped Barca to win two league titles and is now regarded as one of the world's best players. His performances for Portugal at Euro 2000 last month saw serious speculation star about his future with Barcelona but few could have predicted when Lazio's interest was at its height that Barca would lose their star to the principle Spanish rivals.

from World Soccer News
 

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One thing to smile about here :)
At least now Crespo's is not the world's most expensive transfer. What worried me most about his coming to Lazio used to the fact that so far the players who broke the transfer record have ALL failed to win the league title with the club!
Vieri, Ronaldo, Shearer, etc, Lentini...
There seems to be a jinx here. Can't help getting worried a bit!
But now Crespo's is not the world's most expensive transfer.
Phew!
 
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I read in a british newspaper a year ago that Real Madrid were $150 million in debt, before they brought Anelka!! Surely with this deal they will be in financial difficulty?
 

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Actually the fans hope that the arrival of Perez wil help to clear the debt...he's supposed to be a very astute businessman and he actually promised to pay from his own pocket for some transfers (during that campaign anyway, we're yet to see the realization).
Sanz has brought Real CL titles and La Liga titles, but also increased the club's debt :p
 
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