Madrid insist Fabregas is not a target

Real Madrid sporting director Miguel Pardeza insists Cesc Fabregas is not a target as the Spanish giants search for an alternative in case they cannot persuade Liverpool to part with Xabi Alonso.

Reports in Spain yesterday suggested Madrid could turn to Arsenal captain Fabregas after baulking at Liverpool's asking price for Alonso and seemingly being rebuffed by Roma over Daniele de Rossi.

Madrid have long been linked with Fabregas, as have the Spain international's former club Barcelona, but Pardeza is adamant the 22-year-old is not on their radar.

"He is a great player, there's no doubt about that. But at this moment he is not an target for Real Madrid. The club are working on other alternatives," he said.

Pardeza also confirmed they had come up against brick wall regarding Alonso, but insisted that did not necessarily mean their hopes of bringing the Euro 2008 winner to the Bernabeu were now over.

"Madrid must not discard an option until it's totally gone. Now there is an insurmountable financial barrier, but it's something that could change. We're looking for alternatives, although there aren't many."

Madrid have already spent close to £200million on four new signings - Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Karim Benzema and Raul Albiol - this summer but are still looking to add a couple more players as they seek a return to winning ways after ending last season empty-handed.

Two of those new arrivals, Ronaldo and Benzema, were part of the Madrid squad that started pre-season training today.

Also taking to the pitches at Madrid's Valdebebas training ground this morning were new coach Manuel Pellegrini, who replaced Juande Ramos in June after five seasons at Villarreal, as well as Ezequiel Garay and Alvaro Negredo.

Centre-back Garay was signed from Racing Santander last summer but remained on loan at the Cantabrian club, while highly-rated striker Negredo has spent the last two seasons on loan at Almeria.

A selection of youth team players were amongst the 29 players who trained today, while Mohamadou Diarra and Ruud van Nistelrooy, who both missed most of last season with injury, also took part in the session.

However, the club's other two big summer signings to date, Kaka and Albiol, along with Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Javi Garcia and Dani Parejo were all absent as they are still holidaying due to their international commitments this summer.

On Monday, Madrid will travel to Ireland for a training camp that lasts until July 22.

Once Madrid complete that trip, during which they will face Shamrock Rovers in a friendly, the team return to the Spanish capital to take part in the Peace Cup from July 26 to August 2, after which they are scheduled to head to North America for matches in Toronto and DC United on August 7 and 9.

Madrid have also organised a match against Borussia Dortmund on August 19, before facing AC Milan in the Santiago Bernabeu Trophy on August 25 ahead of the start of the new Primera Division season.

Madrid's season will open with a home game against Deportivo La Coruna.

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