Villa price too steep for Madrid

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Real Madrid director of sport Jorge Valdano has revealed the club may end their interest in Valencia striker David Villa because the asking price is too high.

Madrid have been locked in a battle with Barcelona for the Spain international as financially-stricken Valencia look to balance their books. Reports suggest Barca are prepared to pay around 50 million euros, as well as offer players Bojan Krkic and Jose Martin Caceres, for Villa.

"If Barca have offered 50 million for Villa, plus Bojan and Caceres, I would sell if I was Valencia because we're not going to try and top that," the Argentinian told Radio Marca.

Madrid have already shelled out for Brazilian Kaka this summer, and with a world record offer on the table for Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo.

He added: "We have been in discussions over the last week and there were disagreements. On top of money, they want a player and that was causing problems.

"What had seemed to be a deal on track instead became twisted. We don't know why the price became so high."

Valdano also confirmed they are unlikely to bring Franck Ribery to the Bernabeu, again because for the price is not right. Zinedine Zidane, who is an advisor to Madrid president Florentino Perez, recently confirmed Madrid were in discussions with France international Ribery. But Valdano said the asking price of Ribery's current club Bayern Munich is too steep.

"Zidane speaks highly of Ribery," he said. "And at one point there was interest but it's a difficult one. Bayern are asking astronomical figures and it's clear they do not intend to sell."

Madrid are aiming to keep their squad at 25 players next season, and the arrival of Kaka and Ronaldo means many other names will be available for transfer. Players such as Arjen Robben, Rafael van der Vaart and Wesley Sneijder could be on their way out of the Bernabeu, and Valdano acknowledges that may cause friction with some squad members.

"We will sign four or five players and that will lead to departures," he explained. "We're working on it but people will not leave Real Madrid willingly. There are some who refuse to go but will not have a place in the 25-man squad."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Arjen Robben
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