Real rule out move for Ibrahimovic

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The Independent Online

Real Madrid’s sporting director Jorge Valdano has ruled his club out of the running to sign Internazionale striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The 27-year-old Sweden international has been linked with both Real and Barcelona since the end of the season, with Inter placing a massive price-tag on Ibrahimovic’s head.



However, Valdano told Radio Marca: “The press have linked us with Diego Forlan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but neither one nor the other will arrive.



“We are still looking for an attacker, we have two or three alternatives, but among these there is neither Forlan nor Ibrahimovic.”



Valencia frontman David Villa is reported to be Real’s top target, although the cash-strapped Mestalla outfit are holding out for a fee of around £40million for the Spain ace.



Meanwhile, Valdano has warned Bernabeu legend Raul that he may have to settle for a lesser role with the Spanish giants next season.



The 31-year-old is Real’s all-time leading scorer and has won more than 100 caps for Spain, but faces tough competition for a starting spot following the signing of Kaka and the imminent arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo.



Valdano confirmed: “The new arrivals will be given priority, but Raul is going to have the same opportunities as the rest of his team-mates.



“Raul's football is more about statistics than anything else and he has earned the right to continue.



“We'll see what role he plays this season, he is the captain and a smart man. He has the maturity to deal with whatever comes his way.”



The agent of Barcelona midfielder Yaya Toure expects his client to sign a new contract at the Camp Nou and end talk of a move to England.



The 26-year-old Ivory Coast international has been linked with the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool in recent times, but now seems certain to remain in Spain.



Toure's representative, Dmitri Seluk, told Sport: "He is very happy at Barca and in the city.



"The atmosphere within the club is excellent and the team is marvellous and for those reasons he wants to stay and we should have a deal done this week."



Toure joined Barca in the summer of 2007 from French side AS Monaco, having previously played in Greece and Belgium for Olympiacos and Beveren respectively.

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