Liverpool, Gunners and City face hitch in Spanish chase

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Raul Albiol has insisted that he is happy at Real Madrid, despite rumours of a possible exit, and the central defender is hoping to fight for his place in the line-up after falling out of favour with Jose Mourinho.

Albiol put numerous Barclays Premier League teams on notice when he received limited playing time for Real Madrid last season, but a deal for a move in the summer never eventuated.

Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool have all been reported to be interested in the star, but today he insisted that the only side on his mind is Real Madrid.


"The season is like a long-distance race. I haven't had many minutes in the early part of the season but I'm working hard to force the manager to pick me,” Albiol said.

"It's a difficult challenge but nobody has spoken to me about leaving the club. Football is all about the present and we must work hard. Between now and December there are a lot of games and I have to make sure I improve with every game."

Liverpool were connected to the 26-year-old as Kenny Dalglish went on a spending spree over the summer transfer period. And the spree doesn’t look likely to end any time soon for the Reds manager, with numerous players connected to Dalglish for a January swoop.

Arsenal, meanwhile, are desperate to build on their defence, and while Arsene Wenger was unable to garner a deal with Albiol in the summer, if the Gunners continue their poor form then the manager will no doubt be chasing in January, and will be more willing to spend big.

And with City’s big budget, Roberto Mancini will also be in the mix if Albiol continues to get limited game time in Spain. City would also easily be able to outbid Arsenal and Liverpool if they made the Spaniard their top priority.

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