Zinedine Zidane dealt Manchester United a blow yesterday by claiming Franck Ribery will join Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid this summer.
Real legend Zidane, who has returned to the Bernabeu as adviser to new president Florentino Perez, insisted his old club had lodged a bid for United target Ribery and said: 'I don't see how he can turn it down.'
Zidane confirmed he had spoken to the Bayern Munich midfielder and added: 'Franck has a decision to make, but I believe he cannot refuse an offer from Real. He is a great player, and I expect him to be turning out for Real.
'It is only natural that the best players in the world are going tocost a lot of money, but we would welcome him with open arms.'
They will also turn their attention to David Silva of Valencia, plus Liverpool pair Xabi Alonso and Alvaro Arbeloa.
Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez will readily accept £8million fromReal for Arbeloa, after sensing he is close to landing Glen Johnsonfrom Portsmouth. But he is less enamoured about Alonso also heading forthe Bernabeu.
With Javier Mascherano also considering his Anfield future,Liverpool issued a statement on their website yesterday, saying:'Despite repeated speculation, there has been no approach for eitherplayer. Neither is for sale, and Liverpool have no interest in the longlist of Spain-based players being linked with a move to Anfield as partof any deal.'
Meanwhile, Dutch winger Arjen Robben could be on his way to Manchester City with the former Chelsea winger likely to be surplus to requirements as his Real Madrid team are totally reshaped.
City are also keen on Diego Forlan, the Atletico Madrid striker.