Edu confirmed as Real Madrid target

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The Independent Online

Real Madrid have confirmed that they want to sign Arsenal's Edu, who, from 1 January, will be free to enter negotiations about a summer Bosman move unless he signs a new deal at Highbury.

Real Madrid have confirmed that they want to sign Arsenal's Edu, who, from 1 January, will be free to enter negotiations about a summer Bosman move unless he signs a new deal at Highbury.

Emilio Butragueno, Real's vice-president, spoke yesterday about players who have been linked to his club - the Brazilian Robinho, his compatriot Edu, and the French midfielder, Benoit Pedretti.

"With regards to Robinho, we all know what his worth is," Butragueno said. "The other two players mentioned are of interest and in the future they could be a part of the our plans."

Arsenal have made two offers to extend Edu's contract, which expires in six months. The 26-year-old has rejected both. "I'm still hoping [for an agreeable offer]", he said. "I am studying the offers and will see what agrees with my football."

If Arsenal do not meet Edu's requirements, they would probably rather sell him next month than allow him to leave for nothing at the end of the season.

Real are one of three clubs in Spain who have shown an interest, the others being Barcelona and Valencia. Edu's representatives have held talks in Spain in the last few days.

The player will not be in action for Arsenal over Christmas because he has only just resumed training after recovering from a broken toe.

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