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Real maintain Huntelaar must leave

Real Madrid head coach Manuel Pellegrini has repeated his club's stance that Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar needs to leave the Bernabeu this summer.

The 25-year-old has only been with Real since January, but is now surplus to requirements following the arrivals of the likes of Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Pellegrini told Sport: "I have spoken with every player at the club.

"Huntelaar knows my position. There are too many forwards and they cannot all stay. He knows that he is not being counted on. He is no longer required.

"The problem is that there are too many forwards and not enough room for them."

Villarreal president Fernando Roig is confident that Brazil striker Nilmar will be a big hit with the Yellow Submarine.

The 25-year-old is set to become the club’s record signing, with Villarreal having beaten off competition for his signature from a number of other clubs to land the Internacional man.

Roig told his club’s official website: “He's a great player and we hope he will give us five years of joy here.

“We have high hopes and for this we've made the biggest effort in the history of the club, because we are convinced he will be a great player for Villarreal for the next five seasons.”

Nilmar himself told AS: “I have the opportunity to play in one of the best leagues. I hope to shine in Europe as I shined in Brazil.

“I would like to thank Internacional for everything they have done regarding my sale, as they already knew how important a club like Villarreal could be in my sporting career.”

Barcelona defender Rafael Marquez is close to having recovered sufficiently from a knee injury to rejoin the first-team squad at the Camp Nou.

The 30-year-old Mexico international has been sidelined since late April, but is hoping to be back in the mix for a pre-season trip to the USA.

He told the club’s official website: “I feel very well, happy to return. I'm still not with the squad, but we are working towards me being part of the group in the United States.

“Without doubt I felt helpless because I was out of such important games, but at the same time I felt a great happiness. I thank my team-mates for obtaining these victories.

“I hope that next season I can always be with the squad.”

Meanwhile, Barca forward Eidur Gudjohnsen has rejected the idea that he is definitely heading back to the Premier League this summer.

The 30-year-old Iceland international has previously played in England with Bolton Wanderers and Chelsea and has been linked with a return after finding first-team opportunities limited at the Camp Nou.

However, Gudjohnson told reporters: “Everybody just seems to think if I don't continue at Barcelona, then I'll be coming back to England.

“But England's not the only country that plays football, there are so many options. Quite honestly, I don't know where my future lies. I said it a couple of days ago that my future is at Barcelona.”