Perez puts hold on Anelka Paris move

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The Independent Online

Real Madrid's new president, Florentino Perez, said yesterday that he would not be rushed into any decisions over player transfers following his election victory over Lorenzo Sanz.

Real Madrid's new president, Florentino Perez, said yesterday that he would not be rushed into any decisions over player transfers following his election victory over Lorenzo Sanz.

Perez will have to decide whether to press ahead with deals proposed by his predecessor to sell the former Arsenal striker Nicolas Anelka to Paris St-Germain and buy Diego Tristan from Real Mallorca. Perez is also under pressure to fulfil his promise to sign the Portuguese playmaker Luis Figo from Real's great rivals, Barcelona.

"I'm going to make a calm start to the job," Perez insisted. "First of all I need to take charge. I'm not going to rush into any decisions."

Perez refused to be drawn on speculation - flatly denied by the player - that Figo has already signed for Real. "We can start talking about Figo and Anelka tomorrow," he said. Perez said his first act would be to create a role as honorary president for Alfredo di Stefano, who led Real to five European Cup triumphs.

Barcelona's presidential campaign mirrored Real's with its host of outrageous promises regarding transfers. Yesterday one candidate promised he would sign Zinedine Zidane if he won the election. Lluis Bassat's claim that he has a pre-contract agreement with the Juventus midfielder. Bassat is running second in the opinion polls, well behind the outgoing vice-president Joan Gaspart but ahead of Joan Castells in the campaign to replace Josep Lluis Nunez in the 23 July poll.

"We have a pre-contract agreed with Zidane," Bassat said yesterday, adding that Johan Cruyff, the former Barça manager, a supporter of his campaign, had been behind the Zidane negotiations, meeting with Juventus vice-president Roberto Bettega to close the deal. "The price would be 10,000m pesetas (£37.2m) but Juventus could be willing to negotiate and the deal could include a Barcelona player."

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