Real Madrid officials jet in to wrestle Reyes from Arsenal

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The Independent Online

A delegation from Real Madrid is due to fly into London tomorrow to make a final offer in their efforts to sign the Arsenal midfielder Jose Antonio Reyes. The Spanish club have so far bid only €12m (£8.5m) for the 22-year-old which falls well short of Arsenal's valuation, believed to be €22m.

Real concede they will have to raise their offer but with Arsenal pre-occupied with the future of Ashley Cole it could be that Reyes' wish to leave is unfulfilled.

Reyes, who has returned to Spain for international duty, claimed yesterday: "My dream of wearing the Madrid shirt is growing ever nearer. It is hard to stay calm at a time like this." He praised the decision of the Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger to exclude him from last week's Champions' League tie against Dynamo Zagreb. If he had played, Reyes would not have been allowed to feature for another club in the competition this season which would have killed Real's interest.

"Madrid's offer cannot be turned down, for me it is a dream that I have to realise, and now all that is left is for the offer also to be good for Arsenal," Reyes said.

"The coach knows that I have had problems in adapting to the lifestyle in England. If agreement isn't reached, it will be bad for Arsenal and for me."

Reyes has indeed struggled to settle in England since his move from Seville two years ago but Arsenal are determined to exact the price they want for him.

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