March 31, 2009

Van der Vaart denies Chelsea report

Rafael Van der Vaart Real Madrid player

Rafael van der Vaart has denied reports suggesting that he is close to agreeing a move to Chelsea.

The 26-year-old has struggled to make his mark at the Bernabeu since his switch from Hamburg last summer, but van der Vaart insists that he is focused on matters in hand with Real.

He told his official website: "I hear there are rumours about me wanting to go to Chelsea, but I have never said that.

"I have not yet decided on my future. I don't know anything about it.

"At Real Madrid a lot of things are going to happen in the summer, a new president and maybe a new coach. So I'll just wait and see."

Atletico Madrid have denied rumours linking Portugal midfielder Maniche with a summer switch to Sunderland.

The 31-year-old has fallen out of favour at the Vicente Calderon in recent times, but Atletico chairman Enrique Cerezo says that Maniche is not going anywhere just yet.

He told Sky Sports News: “Atletico want to have the best players and Maniche is one of them.

“What happened with Maniche happens within every team. Problems occur in every dressing room, but at the end of the day they are forgotten.

“He is still under contract for a year-and-a-half and we count on him.”

Meanwhile, veteran Real Madrid defender Fabio Cannavaro has played down reports linking him with a move back to Italy to join AC Milan next summer.

The 35-year-old central defender is out of contract at the end of the campaign and has been linked with several clubs despite his advancing years.

However, Cannavaro commented: “I have a contract until June with Real Madrid. I don't think it will be my last contract.

“The reports linking me with Milan are simply rumours, whoever wants me they have the number of my agent. But the future does not worry me.

“I am now thinking about the end of the season and how we can catch Barcelona in the league.”

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