Bayern reject claims Ribery is to join Real Madrid

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The Independent Football

Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness has rejected claims a deal has already been struck with Real Madrid for the sale of Franck Ribery in the summer for a sum in the region of 55 million euros (£49.1m).

Speculation linking Ribery with a move to Spain hit its peak yesterday when German website ran.de revealed that a deal had long since been agreed between the two clubs and that Bayern's signing of Arjen Robben earlier this year had been part of the deal.

It claimed from reliable sources that no money had actually passed hands in the Robben deal and that his value would be offset against the projected 55million euro sale of Ribery, but Hoeness has laughed off the report.

"There is no agreement at all with Real," he told the Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.

"There have been no offers, no options and no negotiations about or with him (Ribery).

"We have paid for Robben as is usual practice."

Hoeness recently admitted that it would be hard to keep hold of Ribery if he refuses to commit himself to a new contract.

The Frenchman's current deal expires in 2011, meaning next summer would be the last chance Bayern would have of earning a substantial fee for the 26-year-old.

But Hoeness has not given up hope of convincing Ribery to put pen to paper on a new deal.

"That is our first option," he explained.

"Only if we see there is no chance of that happening, then we would open talks with others."

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