June 27, 2009

Valdano: Real Madrid Giving Up On David Villa, New Target is Benzema

Real Madrid director-general Jorge Valdano has continued to stress that his club are no longer pursuing the signature of Valencia striker David Villa.

He did confirm, however, that Los Blancos are now interested in Lyon’s Karim Benzema, although he admitted that it would be equally difficult to prise the young France striker away from the Stade Gerland.

Valencia have ruled out selling him [Villa]. When he was put on the transfer list, it was a well known fact that we tried hard to bid for him. But when Valencia changed their plans, we had to pull out with great disappointment because he was an objective of ours,” Valdano told reporters during the launch of a new book by Jose Manuel Otero Lastres, a former Madrid director during Florentino Perez’s first spell.

“Karim Benzema is one of the possible objectives of our club. But we are not going to make any speculations because the signings only become a reality when negotiations are resolved,” he added.

Bringing in a number of superstar signings isn’t Valdano’s only main problem. He also has to talk some of the unwanted players in the current squad into leaving, and he has reservations about fully clearing out those who are surplus to requirements.

“The club know what has to be done. Now, all we need is to find buyers and convince the players who, logically, do not want to leave,” he explained.

“To buy and sell simultaneously is a problem and the time will come when the problem will become substantial because there’s only two and a half months before the league campaign kicks-off.”

Valdano concluded his appearance on a more positive note as he spoke about Los Merengues’ latest acquisition, Raul Albiol.

“He will strengthen an area where he have had some problems,” he said. “We are also happy with the signing because he is a Spanish player, the second one we’ve made already after [Alvaro] Negredo. We are very pleased to have him.”

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